Underperformance duration and innovative search: Evidence from the High‐Tech manufacturing industry
Behavioral theory examines how the intensity of underperformance influences firms’ strategic decisions; yet, it largely fails to consider the effect of underperformance duration. Drawing on behavioral theory and organizational learning, we argue that the length of time that a firm has been underperforming contributes to shaping firms’ innovative search patterns. We test our theory merging COMPUSTAT and NBER patent data for 1,610 high‐tech manufacturing companies between 1986 and 2006. Our results largely support our predicted curvilinear relationships. We find that innovative search magnitude and scope each first decreases and then increases with underperformance duration. In addition, we find marginal evidence that innovative search depth first increases and then decreases with underperformance duration. The statistical and practical significance of the results is also discussed.
Publisher URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/smj.2988