Title page for ETD etd-12132005-210746

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Childers, Jr., John Stephen
URN etd-12132005-210746
Title An Examination into Technological Timing Efforts: The Performance of Firms in the Personal Computer Industry
Degree PhD
Department Management
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hatfield, Donald E. Committee Co-Chair
Tegarden, Linda F. Committee Co-Chair
Gibbs, Philip A. Committee Member
Lang, James R. Committee Member
  • Technological Timing
  • Technology Strategy
  • Innovation
Date of Defense 2005-12-01
Availability unrestricted
This study investigates how firms navigate technological changes over time. Specifically, we determine whether firms follow a consistent strategy in regards to when they time their entry into technological waves. Resulting performance implications of these actions are also measured. The theoretical underpinnings of this study lie at the intersection of the technology literature, the learning school, firm evolutionary theory, and the resource-based view of the firm. Past studies have added clarity as to how firms behave within a single technological wave; however, investigations regarding firm actions over successive waves are needed if we are to truly understand which firm actions lead to long-term success.

This study fills the research gap by investigating firm timing patterns over multiple successive waves of technology and the resulting long-term performance implications of these actions. Further, this study examines timing efforts over both competence enhancing (incremental) and competence destroying (architectural) cycles. The findings indicate that while technological follower firms are able to consistently repeat their timing strategy, technological leaders have a much more difficult time in repeating early entry timing. Repeated leadership entry was found to be difficult in both incremental and architectural cycles. Characteristics of those leaders able to repeat leadership entry are provided.

While consistent entry timing was not found to impact market share, it was found to benefit firms by reducing their hazard rate. This hazard rate reduction for timing entry consistency, whether it is as a leader or as a follower, was observed during both incremental and architectural technological changes.

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