Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings includes abstracts of all papers and symposia presented at the annual conference, plus 6-page abridged versions of the “Best Papers” accepted for inclusion in the program (approximately 10%). Papers published in the Proceedings are abridged because presenting papers at their full length could preclude subsequent journal publication. Please contact the author(s) directly for the full papers.

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.