Title

Strategic Groups: Theory, Research and Taxonomy

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1986

Abstract

This paper discusses the concept of strategic groups, focusing upon the importance of intra-industry strategic groupings in understanding differences across firms within an industry. The problems involved in identifying strategic groups within industries are examined through a comprehensive review of recent studies. It is demonstrated that much of the research has used surrogates for elements of a firm's strategic direction, e.g. vertical integration, product range, R & D expenditure, to suggest bases by which creative and sustainable groups are formed. The authors argue that certain theoretical concepts such as mobility barriers, isolating mechanisms and controllable variablesprovide much firmer bases for identifying strategic groups within industries. Thus, taxonomies for understanding the nature of strategic group formulation can be developed. Implications of the strategic group concept for such strategic issues as the structure-performance linkage, firm mobility, patterns of rivalry, industry evolutionand firm growthare then examined. The paper concludes by indicating fruitful directions for strategic group research in the context of the strategic management field.

Discipline

Business

Research Areas

Strategy and Organisation

Publication

Strategic Management Journal

Volume

7

Issue

2

First Page

141

Last Page

160

ISSN

0143-2095

Identifier

10.1002/smj.4250070204

Publisher

Wiley