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Incumbent Responses to an Entrant with a New Business Model: Resource Co-Deployment and Resource Re-Deployment Strategies

Ahuja, G. & Novelli, E. (2016). Incumbent Responses to an Entrant with a New Business Model: Resource Co-Deployment and Resource Re-Deployment Strategies. Advances in Strategic Management, 35, pp. 125-153. doi: 10.1108/S0742-332220160000035006


The constructs of re-deployment and co-deployment have been central to discussions of scope economies in diversified firms. We argue however that these constructs are also significant in the context of single business firms. Increasingly, changes in technology and demand preferences have provided opportunities for entrants to attack incumbents with a different business model, one that may neutralize the incumbent’s advantage for at least some set of customers (e.g. Netflix versus Blockbuster). In such a context incumbents often respond by modifying their business model. We note that several of the business model-altering responses of the incumbent can be characterized in terms of co-deployment and re-deployment benefits and costs, where co-deployment benefits/cost apply to the scope economies/diseconomies in running multiple business-models within the same firm and re-deployment benefits/costs apply to the implications of moving assets from one business model to another. We then examine the set of strategic choices faced by the incumbent in competing with an entrant with a different business model. We identify five set of factors that are likely to influence the decision to choose between these alternatives – uncertainty spawned by the new business model, market segment targeted by the new model, the within-business-across-business-model co-deployment and re-deployment benefits and costs, the across-business co-deployment and re-deployment benefits and costs, and the incumbent’s prior performance history. Although some of these choices have seen some work, most remain relatively underexplored in the strategy literature. We highlight the potential for research in this area with a set of propositions that identify key conditions that should hold true for a particular strategic choice to be picked by an incumbent.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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