The power of imperfect imitation

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We examine the power and limitations of imitation. Naive intuition may hold that the efficacy of imitation would be diminished by imperfections in copying high-performing firms. Employing a computational model, we study the dynamics of imitation when firms are subject to bounded rationality that limits their ability to copy the market leader. We find that imperfect imitation can generate unexpectedly good outcomes for follower firmsindeed, better than the outcomes achieved if they were perfect imitators. Moreover, imperfect imitation, from time to time, enables follower firms to surpass superior firms. These findings suggest there is an adaptive role to mechanisms, such as bounded rationality, that make perfect imitation difficult. Copyright (c) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Publisher
JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD
Issue Date
2013-02
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, v.34, no.2, pp.149 - 164

ISSN
0143-2095
DOI
10.1002/smj.2007
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/214867
Appears in Collection
RIMS Journal Papers
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