Product Variety and Firm Survival in the Microcomputer Software Industry
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AbstractThis article provides an analysis of product variety and scope economies in the microcomputer software industry by using detailed firm-level and product-level information on firms’ bundling of functionalities over application categories and computing platforms. We find that the management of product variety through the way different application categories are integrated in products and the platforms on which these products are offered can be as important as the significance of scope economies at the more aggregated firm level. Specifically, we find that there is little evidence of firm benefits from economies of scope in production, but there is substantial evidence that products benefit from economies of scope in consumption. In addition, we find that firms with products that encapsulate more application categories perform better, and those with products that cover more computing platforms perform worse. Finally, changes in product variety through new product introductions improve firm performance, but extensions to existing products hinder the performance of the firm and the product. We conclude that research in scope economies can benefit from a more detailed model of the evolution of product variety that includes data and analysis at the firm level and at the product level.
*Wiley: submitted version can be posted to DSpace/website with the following statement: ‘This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Cottrell, T., and Nault, B.R., "Product Variety and Firm Survival in the Microcomputer Software Industry," Strategic Management Journal 25, 10 (October 2004), 1005-1026., which has been published in final form at [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/smj.408/epdf] Policy: http://media.wiley.com/assets/1540/90/ctabglobal.pdf. Article has been deposited according to publisher's policy 06/16/2015