Choice Interactions and Business Strategy
35 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2002
Date Written: October 2002
Strategists have tended to explain sustained performance differences across firms in terms of two types of interactions among choices: cross-sectional interactions and longitudinal ones. We explore the interplay between these two sorts of forces first in a qualitative manner drawing on case of the case of the Vanguard Mutual Fund. We then develop a graph-theoretic generalization of the NK model of Kaufman (1993) in order to examine these questions in a more structured manner. We use this structure to examine, through simulation, how fully articulated a strategy or set of policy choices must be to achieve a high level of performance, and how feasible it is to offset past strategic mistakes through tactical adjustments (instead of alignment). Our analysis highlights the role of asymmetry in the interaction of strategic choices and in particular the degree to which choices vary in terms of being influential, contingent, or autonomous from other choices.
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