The Strategic Positioning of Professional Service Firm Start-Ups: Balance Beguiles but Purism Pays
Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 24, pp. 45-67, 2006
Posted: 5 Jun 2013
Date Written: Dec 1, 2005
How do new professional service firms strategically position themselves in fields where developing a favourable external reputation is critical to performance? Are certain positioning strategies more effective than others? This study reveals that most professional service firm start-ups attempt to establish themselves by pursuing a strategy of moderate divergence from a field's institutionalized practices. Those that do so, however, do not perform as well as those that either conform more closely to these institutional prescriptions or depart more radically from them. In other words, balance beguiles but purism pays.
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