The Impact of Technological Convergence on Firms' Product Portfolio Strategy: An Information‐Based Imitation Approach
19 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2017 Last revised: 26 Dec 2018
Date Written: January 2017
Technological convergence in the electronics industry has enabled disparate new functionalities to be added to existing basic products. Although the main drivers of technological convergence have been examined by the technological change literature, the impact of technological convergence on firms' product portfolio strategies remains a largely unexplored issue. Drawing on the technological change and information‐based imitation literatures, we develop hypotheses on how the introduction in the market of technologies from other product categories affects the way firms modify their product portfolio vis‐à‐vis the market leader. Data on nearly 300 imitation strategies at the product portfolio level, which cover over 3,500 handset models introduced by 55 mobile phone vendors from 1994 to 2010, show that the relationship between the level of technological convergence in a product category and the firms' level of imitation of the market leader product portfolio strategy is U‐shaped. Data also show that the firm's prior experience plays an important role in moderating this curvilinear relationship.
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