Inferring Superior Capabilities from Sustained Superior Performance: A Bayesian Analysis
Strategic Management Journal, Forthcoming
41 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2011 Last revised: 5 Apr 2013
Date Written: August 17, 2011
To what extent can one infer that superior capabilities are driving sustained superior performance? Modeling performance as some combination of differences in capabilities and processes of cumulative advantage, we argue that a Bayesian framework in which decision makers take into account the differences in cumulative advantage provides for a correct inference. We show, using both simulated and real performance data, that the Bayesian method gives rise to estimates relevant for the inference problem. The estimates also illustrate why a firm with superior performance during a longer period can be less likely to possess superior capabilities than a firm with superior performance during a shorter period. Our work has implications for the origins of competitive advantages and for organization learning in strategy research.
Keywords: Superior Performance, Competitive Advantage, RBV, Bayesian Analysis
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