We take a historical perspective to gain insight into the determinants of changes in industrial leadership in the global mobile phone industry from the beginning of the 1980s to 2012. The theoretical foundation of our analysis is (a) the concept of ‘windows of opportunity’ proposed by industry evolution studies, i.e. changes in the technological, regulatory and consumer demand environment offering latecomers the opportunity to overtake leading rivals, and (b) the concept of ‘action aggressiveness’ proposed by the competitive dynamics literature, i.e. the extent to which a firm forcefully takes a large number and a wide variety of actions to outperform its competitors. We show that the potential for leadership changes is greater for firms that are able to undertake ‘aggressive’ competitive actions at the time when ‘significant’ windows of opportunity are open. In particular, we analyze the determinants of two leadership changes: (1) in the second half of the 1990s, when the US giant Motorola lost its number one position, dethroned by its Finnish competitor Nokia; and (2) in the first half of the 2010s, when Samsung of South Korea caught up with Nokia.

Successive changes in leadership in the worldwide mobile phone industry: The role of windows of opportunity and firms’ competitive action

GIACHETTI, Claudio;
2017-01-01

Abstract

We take a historical perspective to gain insight into the determinants of changes in industrial leadership in the global mobile phone industry from the beginning of the 1980s to 2012. The theoretical foundation of our analysis is (a) the concept of ‘windows of opportunity’ proposed by industry evolution studies, i.e. changes in the technological, regulatory and consumer demand environment offering latecomers the opportunity to overtake leading rivals, and (b) the concept of ‘action aggressiveness’ proposed by the competitive dynamics literature, i.e. the extent to which a firm forcefully takes a large number and a wide variety of actions to outperform its competitors. We show that the potential for leadership changes is greater for firms that are able to undertake ‘aggressive’ competitive actions at the time when ‘significant’ windows of opportunity are open. In particular, we analyze the determinants of two leadership changes: (1) in the second half of the 1990s, when the US giant Motorola lost its number one position, dethroned by its Finnish competitor Nokia; and (2) in the first half of the 2010s, when Samsung of South Korea caught up with Nokia.
2017
46
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3679950
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