This paper explores how two understudied characteristics of a firm's product portfolio, namely, aging of products and (non)innovativeness of products, affect firm survival. The influence of these product portfolio characteristics on organizational mortality can be observed both at the firm and at the industry levels. Paradoxically, the portfolio's influence at the firm and at the industry levels may go in opposite directions. Specifically, I predict that portfolios with aging products make their firms weaker competitors and survivors. However by weakening these firms, “aging” portfolios reduce competitive pressures at the industry level and, therefore, improve firm survival indirectly by changing industry vital rates. In contrast, firms with innovative product portfolios should be stronger survivors. At the same time, they are likely to intensify competition in the industry and, as a result, diminish survival chances of all firms, including those with innovative products. The analyses of all firms’ product portfolios in the worldwide optical disk drive industry, 1983–1999, support these predictions.
Khessina, O.M. (2006), "Direct and Indirect Effects of Product Portfolio on Firm Survival in the Worldwide Optical Disk Drive Industry, 1983–1999", Baum, J.A.C., Dobrev, S.D. and Van Witteloostuijn, A. (Ed.) Ecology and Strategy (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 591-630. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-3322(06)23018-3Download as .RIS
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