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Whom should a leader imitate? Using rivalry-based imitation to manage strategic risk in changing environments

Title: Whom should a leader imitate? Using rivalry-based imitation to manage strategic risk in changing environments
Authors: Sharapov, D
Ross, J-M
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We study the performance implications of dynamic environments for a leader’s rivalry-based imitation efforts in a setting with multiple rivals. We disentangle competitive interactions from environmental changes to show that a leader’s simple rules to either imitate the closest rival in terms of attributes (her neighbor) or the closest rival in terms of rank (her challenger) can help to maintain the performance gap to her competitors. Using a computational model and an empirical test, we find that environmental changes alter the tradeoffs between imitation accuracy and the responsiveness to threats from distant rivals. Consequently, when environmental changes are infrequent and minor, neighbor imitation is more effective in maintaining the lead, whereas challenger imitation prevails as environmental changes become more frequent and substantial.
Issue Date: Jan-2023
Date of Acceptance: 13-Nov-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/75749
DOI: 10.1002/smj.3120
ISSN: 0143-2095
Publisher: Wiley
Start Page: 311
End Page: 342
Journal / Book Title: Strategic Management Journal
Volume: 44
Issue: 1
Copyright Statement: © 2019 The Authors. Strategic Management Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2019-12-08
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School



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