Product Technology Imitation Over the Product Diffusion Cycle: Which Companies and Product Innovations do Competitors Imitate More Quickly?

Giachetti, C. & Lanzolla, G. (2016). Product Technology Imitation Over the Product Diffusion Cycle: Which Companies and Product Innovations do Competitors Imitate More Quickly?. Long Range Planning, 49(2), pp. 250-264. doi: 10.1016/j.lrp.2015.05.001

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Abstract

We contribute to the imitation literature by shedding light on product imitation dynamics over the market evolution, a hitherto-overlooked level of analysis. First, we introduce product diffusion within a more integrative theory of product imitation. Second, we investigate the time to imitation of a new product technology: our baseline hypothesis is that the time to imitation decreases as the product diffusion in the market increases. Third, we extend our prediction by differentiating by the type of innovator—i.e., the market leader and a member of the same strategic group—and by the type of product technology—i.e., functionality-defining technologies and substitute technologies. We hypothesize that, over the product diffusion cycle, product technologies launched by market leaders are copied more quickly than ones launched by non-market leader firms; product technologies launched by members of a focal firm's own strategic group are copied more quickly than ones launched by outsiders; and substitute technologies are copied more quickly than functionality-defining technologies. We test our hypotheses in the context of the UK mobile phone industry, by exploiting a unique database on twenty-two product innovations introduced by thirteen mobile handset manufacturers between 1997 and 2008. The model estimations provide support for most of our hypotheses.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/15192

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