Imitation strategies in a random utility framework: who do firms imitate?
MetadataShow full item record
The main purpose of this study is to provide an internally valid empirical foundation for the use of imitation strategies in the development of technology by firms. To this end, we integrate previous findings into a single theoretical framework that is based on random utility theory. We focus on the discrete choice for an imitation strategy and include environmental and firm attributes to explain this choice. We present the results of discrete choice experiments that were administered to managers of Dutch high-tech firms in the form of an online survey. Two methods of analysis were used; multinomial logit models and generalized estimating equations models. On the one hand, we confirm the predictions in contemporary literature for the rate of technological development, past behavior, innovation strategy, risk propensity, technological knowledge base and network structures. On the other hand, we find a result for technological uncertainty that contradicts predictions in strategic management literature, neo-institutional literature and literature on organizational learning. Furthermore, we show that high status firms function as opinion leaders for the imitation of technology and that firms are more inclined to base their decision on a trait of the imitated firm than on the frequency of use of a technology.