From Hidden Order to Hidden Solution: A Coevolutionary Perspective of Digital Competitive Moves
Accounting and Information Systems Division
Sauder School of Business
The University of British Columbia
Friday, December 6
10:30 – 12:00 pm | Speakman 200
Technological advances and hypercompetition almost inevitably drive firms to attempt increasingly complex digital competitive moves (DCMs). Against this backdrop, this study answers a basic question; does DCM complexity add to competitive advantage? We applied the coevolutionary perspective to model DCM complexity as changes in subassemblies of components and links in a DCM. We tested the research model with empirical data on 485 digital competitive moves. We found that high-performing competitive moves leverage changes in digital technologies as their generative foundation while low-performing moves rely largely on traditional strategies such as price cuts. Further, when high-performing competitive moves are deployed in conjunction with a sequence of unexpected moves, a firm tends to obtain superior financial performance. We developed propositions to formalize a few principles for firms to strategically increase the complexity of DCMs to seize fleeting competitive advantages in turbulent business environments.