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Growth Possibilities Found, Taken, and Lost

Bhardwaj, Gaurab (2007) Growth Possibilities Found, Taken, and Lost. [Industry Studies Working Paper:2007-37]



Growth possibilities found and taken affect long-term growth, profit, and competitiveness, but so do those that were missed. Due to limited literature on how opportunities are lost, this paper used field data to develop theoretical explanations of the decision-making process behind the phenomenon. The case research method was used to analyze comprehensive archival decision-making data on exploration and exploitation over a 20-year period at the DuPont Company, complemented by contemporaneous newspaper articles. Lost opportunities were analyzed using the counterfactual method of business and economic historians. Choices of which new domain to explore were based on attempts to manage risk from various sources. The decision whether to exploit new growth possibilities generated from exploration was influenced by the following heuristics: risk of action vs. inaction, few vs. many links with current and future businesses, and brief vs. long time horizon. When there was a significant deviation between the preferences of powerful individuals and the exploration-exploitation considerations of the organization, they exercised their power to influence choices. These cognitive and power dynamics combined to result in growth possibilities being found, taken, and lost.

Industry Studies Series #:2007-37
Item Type:Industry Studies Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords:industry studies, industry studies working paper, industry studies association, industry studies research
ID Code:152
Deposited By:Mr Robin Peterson
Deposited On:23 Feb 2010 14:17
Last Modified:07 Jun 2010 10:45

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