Chance and Competitive Advantage
Chance or randomness as a mechanism to induce performance heterogeneity among originally homogeneous firms has recently been introduced to the resource-based view of the firm. In this paper, we demonstrate how chance can engender variation in performance among initially identical firms even in the absence of firm-level capability differences. Departing from the positional school of strategy, we show how and when firms in systemic industries benefit from the chance of staking positions vis-à-vis competitors in complex technology landscapes. Expectedly, the chance of making choices early and repeatedly increases a firm’s profitability. Also, the value of repeated chance is higher during the early stages of an industry’s evolution than during its later phases. Importantly, however, this latter effect is exacerbated by increases in competition.