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Three Essays on the Dynamics of Industry Formation

Robert, Ryan (2019) Three Essays on the Dynamics of Industry Formation. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation contributes to three sub-literatures in strategic management: strategic timing of exploration; incumbent-challenger dynamics for radical innovation; and, first-mover advantages. Each essay makes contributions to both theory and methodology.
Essay One proposes a new theory of the strategic timing of within-industry exploration, Harmonic Oscillation Theory. Synthesizing decades of marketing and strategy research, this theory proposes that industry maturity is best understood as an oligarchy of firms who have found a harmonic fit – both to the overall industrial rhythm of exploration and to each other’s product initiatives. The essay presents a model of Four Generic Timing Strategies: 1) in-phase for durable goods; 2) anti-phase for cultural goods; 3) multi-phase layers of super-harmonic and sub-harmonic firm activities for any focal industry; and 4) managing chaos, in the case of risk mitigating, and/or exchange market-managing, firms. I provide exemplar cases for durable goods (Silicon Valley consumer hardware) and cultural goods (Hollywood theater releases). My extension of entrainment theory explains how to model technical timing waves (zeitgeber) and demand timing waves (zeitmacher) to arrive at a theoretically optimal timing pattern.
Essay Two examines patterns of radical exaptation in new industry formation. I show that, in contrast to the “wholly new” technologies responsible for disruptive/moonshot innovations, radical exaptation involves “partially new” innovation trees that trigger stand-alone industries. I resort the strategies of incumbent-challenger dynamics into Four Radical Innovation Strategies: 1) Moonshots 2) Disruptive Innovations; 3) Rebel Alliances; and 4) Blue Oceans. The essay examines 12 qualitative cases of radical exaptation to confirm ten Rebel Alliance and Blue Ocean scenarios.
Essay Three is a deep dive into the emergence of market leadership cohorts. I theorize that proofpoints are an excellent predictor of market leadership. This is the first study using Crisp-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to predict emerging market leadership cohorts. The essay focuses on the Rebel Alliance Strategy – the radical exaptation of a technology by enterprising, cooperative lead users of the incumbent technology. I model automobile, microcomputer, and 3D desktop printer leadership cohorts. I confirm a new Rebel Alliance Model of six Promethean proofpoints for pioneering commercialization and six Mercurian proofpoints for firm takeoff.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Robert, Ryanryanrc111@gmail.comrcr180000-0002-5956-5597
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMitnick,
Committee MemberSusan,
Committee MemberDennis, Gallettagalletta@pitt.ede
Committee MemberRaja,
Committee MemberDavid,
Date: 1 February 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 July 2018
Approval Date: 1 February 2019
Submission Date: 1 February 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 128
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business > Business Administration
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: industry emergence; radical innovation; timing; organizational theory; strategic entrepreneurship
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2019 16:49
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 16:49


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