Hybrid strategic groups

Wayne S. Desarbo, Rajdeep Grewal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The notion of strategic groups has recently emerged as a critical perspective for uncovering firms' strategic postures/recipes and competitive market structures. Firms within strategic groups generally adopt similar strategic recipes and compete more intensely than firms across strategic groups. Building on recent research, the authors develop the concept of hybrid strategic groups, which blend the strategic recipes of more than one group, in contrast to existing conceptualizations of strategic groups, where either firms tightly follow the recipes of a strategic group (i.e., core firms) or firms loosely follow the recipes of a strategic group (i.e., secondary firms). Thus, competition among firms depends not only on the strategic group but also on the overlap ofthat strategic group with other strategic groups. The authors devise a combinatorial optimizationbased classification procedure utilizing a bilinear model that accommodates multiple variable batteries that can estimate hybrid strategic groups. The proposed methodology is illustrated by using archival data on public banks. For this illustration, the hybrid strategic group solution outperforms ordinary cluster analyses and offers critical insights into the nature of competition among firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-317
Number of pages25
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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