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Taxonomic Approaches To Studying Strategy: Some Conceptual And Methodological Issues

Donald C. Hambrick

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Taxonomic inquiry is emerging as an important type of research in the field of strategy. This paper builds a case for strategy taxonomy-building and addresses selected conceptual and methodological issues for researchers interested in such investigations. Among the issues discussed are the following: choosing variables to classify, framing the domain of the taxonomy, developing longitudinal taxonomies, manipulating variables, and incorporating organizational performance into strategic taxonomies. Drawing from the literature and from my own experiences in taxonomic studies, this paper is intended as a special supplement to more generic and technically detailed treatments of numerical classification.