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Schumpeter's Ghost: Is Hypercompetition Making The Best Of Times Shorter?

Robert R. Wiggins, T. Ruefli
Published 2005 · Economics

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At the center of Schumpeter's theory of competitive behavior is the assertion that competitive advantage will become increasingly more difficult to sustain in a wide range of industries. More recently, this assertion has resurfaced in the notion of hypercompetition. This research examines two large longitudinal samples of firms to discover which industries, if any, exhibit performance that is consonant with Schumpeterian theory and the assertions of hypercompetition. We find support for the argument that over time competitive advantage has become significantly harder to sustain and, further, that the phenomenon is limited neither to high-technology industries nor to manufacturing industries but is seen across a broad range of industries. We also find evidence that sustained competitive advantage is increasingly a matter not of a single advantage maintained over time but more a matter of concatenating over time a sequence of advantages. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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