Architectural innovation and the emergence of a dominant design: The effects of strategic sourcing on performance

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Journal Article
Research Policy, 2018, 47 (1), pp. 326 - 341
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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. This study investigates four different sourcing strategies employed by firms in order to successfully deal with a new architectural innovation hitting the market. The four sourcing approaches reflect the varying degrees of internalization of component design and manufacturing: make, in-house design, long-term supplier, and new supplier, where make implies the highest and new supplier the lowest degree of internalization of the firm's component sourcing in a spectrum. Comparing and contrasting the innovation performance of the four sourcing approaches in the pre- and post-dominant design eras, we suggest theoretical implications for the critical path of strategic sourcing decisions over time for a new architectural innovation. By doing so, we suggest an integrated framework of stage-contingent sourcing strategies and provide the associated empirical results that demonstrate normative strategic guidance for managers.
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