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On strategic trade-offs: Does the principle of energy conservation explain the trade-off law?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Management Research Review
Issue number11
Volume40
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1163-1174
Publication statusPublished
Early online date6/10/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to reaffirm the suggestion that there are at least two distinct types of trade-off law that affect all firms; and in doing so, to contribute towards resolving the persistent trade-off debate in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach
Conceptual; based on implicit deductive reasoning.

Findings
Two types of trade-offs are identified: one (‘internal’) can be understood following the dictates of the law of diminishing returns, while the other (‘external’) can be modeled utilizing the principle of energy conservation.

Research limitations/implications
New insights are provided by discussing the impact of both trade-off laws on the resource-based view of the firm, on new capabilities such as sustainability and innovativeness, and on key strategic choices.

Practical implications
Our study explains why trade-offs occur and outlines contextual factors that determine the ‘strength’ of trade-offs.

Originality/value
To the best of our knowledge, no previous study has attempted to investigate the topic of strategic trade-offs based on the principle of energy conservation.

Bibliographic note

This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.