Research Seminar with Jackson Nickerson May 17th

Dominant Designs, Innovation Shocks, and the Follower’s Dilemma

Friday, May 17, 2013 - 12:30 to 13:45

Jackson Nickerson is a Professor of Organization and Strategy at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. Professor Nickerson’s research focuses on leadership issues around why firms choose different organizational structures and the performance implications of these choices; with a special emphasis on knowledge, innovation, and problem formulation and solving.

Dominant Designs, Innovation Shocks, and the Follower’s Dilemma

Abstract: A dominant design is thought to usher in a period of intense competition based on cost, causing an often fierce industry shakeout. We aim to challenge some of the foundations of the dominant design literature, and develop new insights about the evolution of competition. We develop the argument that strategic repositioning and elevated exit rates are often observed long before the emergence of a dominant design, and that a key cause is the introduction of a particular product for which demand is unexpectedly high (an "innovation shock"). This introduction creates a dilemma for followers, which we suggest is strategically resolved based on followers’ adjustment costs. We test implications of these ideas on data from the early U.S. auto industry. We treat Ford’s Model T as the innovation shock. 

This event is arranged by the Department of Strategic Management and Globalization.


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