JOURNAL OF STRATEGIC INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY
When is Imitation the Best Strategy?
Author(s): Isaac Wanasika, Suzanne L. Conner
Citation: Isaac Wanasika, Suzanne L. Conner, (2011) "When is Imitation the Best Strategy?," Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability, Vol. 7, Iss. 2, pp. 79 - 93
Article Type: Research paper
Publisher: North American Business Press
Innovation through investments in R & D has been associated with competitiveness. However, recent studies have found mixed results. Imitation undermines the benefits of innovation. This study develops conditions under which imitation is an effective strategy, when pioneering is disadvantageous and may not necessarily create sustainable competitive advantage. Transaction Cost Economics provides a foundation for explicating environmental hazards that lead to imitation including incremental technology that cannot be easily safeguarded, weak legal environments and underdeveloped property rights regimes. General purpose technology, with its complementary applications and externalities, provides opportunities for imitation. Consequences of imitation as strategy are discussed.