This paper aims to consider decision speed’s role in the largely neglected decision area of product elimination.
Drawing on an inter-disciplinary theoretical background (e.g. organisational, decision speed and product elimination theories), the authors develop and test a framework for decision speed’s effects on the market and financial outcomes of a stratified random sample of 175 consumer product eliminations.
In contrast to decision speed research that hypothesised (and often failed to confirm) linearity, results show inverted ∪-shaped decision speed-to-decision outcomes relationships, with curvatures moderated by product importance, environmental complexity and turbulence.
Findings are suggestive of several implications for the above theories (e.g. contribution to the dialogue about performance-enhancing value of rational vs incremental decision-making; evidence that excessive decision speed may become too much of a good thing). Certain design limitations (e.g. sampling consumer goods’ manufacturers only) point at avenues for future inquiry into the product elimination decision speed-to-outcomes link.
Managerially, the findings suggest that product eliminations’ optimal market and financial outcomes depend on a mix of speed and search in decision-making and that this mix requires adjustments to different levels of product importance, interdependencies with other decision areas of the firm and environmental turbulence.
The paper makes a twofold contribution. It enriches decision speed research, by empirically addressing speed’s outcomes in relation to a decision area that is not necessarily strategic and represents the first explicit empirical investigation into outcomes of decision speed in product line pruning decision-making.
The authors wish to thank the anonymous EJM review team and the Associate Editor Dr. Amir Grinstein, whose comments on a previous version of this paper improved its contributions.
Argouslidis, P., Baltas, G. and Mavrommatis, A. (2014), "Outcomes of decision speed: An empirical study in product elimination decision-making processes", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 48 No. 5/6, pp. 982-1008. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-10-2012-0573
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