Where Do Market Categories Come from and How? Distinguishing Category Creation from Category Emergence

50 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2016

See all articles by Rodolphe Durand

Rodolphe Durand

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy

Mukti Khaire

Harvard Business School

Date Written: September 1, 2016

Abstract

This paper reviews several streams of research on market category formation. Most past research has largely focused on established category systems and the antecedents and consequences of categorical positioning (i.e. categorical purity vs. spanning; combination vs. replacement) but relatively ignored the formative processes leading to new categories. In this review, we address this lacuna to posit that scholarship would benefit from clearly disentangling category emergence from category creation. We analytically describe the differences between the two and elaborate the boundary conditions that guide and define which process is more likely to occur in a given market. Our review contributes to illuminating the role of organizational agency and strategic actions in market categories and their formation, which deserve greater attention due to their theoretical and practical implications.

Keywords: market category, category formation, strategic agency

Suggested Citation

Durand, Rodolphe and Khaire, Mukti, Where Do Market Categories Come from and How? Distinguishing Category Creation from Category Emergence (September 1, 2016). HEC Paris Research Paper No. SPE-2016-1166. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2833208 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2833208

Rodolphe Durand (Contact Author)

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy ( email )

Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

Mukti Khaire

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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