Performance feedback, competitive repertoire simplicity, and technological evolution in a televised design contest

Jha, Pushkar and Lampel, Joseph (2014) Performance feedback, competitive repertoire simplicity, and technological evolution in a televised design contest. Research Policy, 43 (2). pp. 403-413. ISSN 0048-7333

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2013.10.005

Abstract

Research suggests that in industries where firms compete primarily on the relative merits of their designs, performance feedback from repeated episodes of competitive rivalry often leads firms to focus their resources on progressively fewer design features. Applying Miller and Chen, 1996a, Miller and Chen, 1996b concept of ‘competitive repertoire simplicity’ we argue that the shift from broad to narrow set of technological options marking technological evolution is the product of multi-level interaction between competitive design decisions made at the individual firm level, and technological knowledge that accumulates at the industry level. Taking advantage of an elimination tournament called Robot Wars – where competition is transparent, regulated and is marked by repeat participation – we examine repertoire simplicity and its escalation over iterative episodes of dyadic rivalry. Using a data set of 296 robotic designs over 4 episodes of this design contest we find evidence for (a) escalating repertoire simplicity causing convergence in design configurations; and (b) hypothesized, but rarely tested, links between competition at the individual team level and technological evolution at the population level.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Competitive repertoire, Repertoire simplicity, Technological evolution, Design configurations, Design features
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N200 Management studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School > Business and Management
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2013 09:04
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 15:02
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/14608

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