Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 216–237 | Cite as

Dynamic strategic thinking

  • Peter R. Dickson
  • Paul W. Farris
  • Willem J. M. I. Verbeke


Market analysts and marketing strategists stress understanding the fundamental dynamics of a market, but how deeply do they think about the interplay of such fundamentals and what frameworks do they use in such thinking? How do business schools teach managers to think this way? The premise of this article is that in their strategizing, senior marketing executives, boards of directors, consultants, and financial analysts should see the market and the firm’s embeddedness in a market as a moving video rather than a static snapshot. The authors propose that what makes the video move are fundamental feedback effects that create the evolutionary paths that a market and a firm may travel. A taxonomy of systemic feedback regularities is presented with applications that demonstrate how the taxonomy and proposed soft mapping techniques can be use to construct dynamic mental models that help managers and consultants improve their dynamic strategic thinking and the strategic foresight of firms.


Feedback Effect Brand Equity Dynamic Capability Scenario Planning Feedback Dynamic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alberts, F. W. 1989. “The Experience Curve Doctrine Reconsidered.”Journal of Marketing 53 (July): 36–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alchian, A. E. 1950. “Uncertainly, evolution and economic theory.”Journal of Political Economy 58 (3): 211–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amit, R. and P.J.H. Schoemaker. 1993. “Strategic Assets and Organizational Rent.”Strategic Management Journal 14:33–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, P., K. Arrow, and D. Pines. 1988.The Economy as an Evolving Complex System. Redwood City, CA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  5. Argote, Linda. 1993. “Group and Organizational Learning Curves: Individual, System and Environmental Components.”British Journal of Social Psychology 32:31–51.Google Scholar
  6. —. 1999.Organizational Learning: Creating, Retaining and Transferring Knowledge. Boston: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  7. Arrow, K. 1962. “The Economic Implications of Learning-by-Doing.”Review of Economic Studies 29:166–170.Google Scholar
  8. Arthur, W. B., ed. 1994.Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  9. — 1996. “Increasing Returns and the New World of Business.”Harvard Business Review. July–August, pp. 100–109.Google Scholar
  10. — and D. A. Lane. 1994. “Information Contagion.” InIncreasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy. Ed. B. Arthur. Ann Arbor. University of Michigan Press, 69–97.Google Scholar
  11. Axelrod, R. 1984.The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  12. Barnett, William P. and Morten T. Hansen. 1996. “The Red Queen in Organizational Evolution.”Strategic Management Journal 17:139–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Beinhocker, Eric D. 1999. “Robust Adaptive Strategies.”Sloan Management Review 40 (Spring): 95–106.Google Scholar
  14. Bijker, W., T. P. Hughes, and T. Pinch. 1987.The Social Construction of Technological Systems. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  15. Boston Consulting Group. 1972.Perspectives on Experience. Boston: Boston Consulting Group.Google Scholar
  16. Bower, J. L. and C. M. Christensen. 1995. “Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave.”Harvard Business Review, January–February, pp. 43–53.Google Scholar
  17. Brown, C. 1996. “What’s Your Favorite Color?”Forbes, October 7, pp. 54–58.Google Scholar
  18. Brown, S. L. and K. M. Eisenhardt. 1998.Competing on the Edge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  19. Cassady, R., Jr. 1957. “The New York Department Store Price War of 1951: A Microeconomic Analysis.”Journal of Marketing 12 (July): 3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chandler, Alfred D. 1990. “The Enduring Logic of Industrial Success.”Harvard Business Review, March–April, pp. 130–140.Google Scholar
  21. Cohen, W. M. and D. A. Levinthal. 1990. “Absorptive Capacity: A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation.”Administrative Science Quarterly 35 (March): 128–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cook, W. J. 1997. “What Makes IBM Run?”U.S. News & World Report, June 9, pp. 48–49.Google Scholar
  23. Courtney, Hugh, Jane Kirkland, and Patrick Viguerie. 1997. “Strategy Under Uncertainly.”Harvard Business Review, November–December, pp. 67–79.Google Scholar
  24. de Geus, A. P. 1988. “Planning as Learning.”Harvard Business Review, March–April, pp. 70–74.Google Scholar
  25. — 1997.The Living Company: Habits for Survival in a Turbulent Business Environment. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  26. Dickson, P. R. 1992. “Toward a General Theory of Competitive Rationality.”Journal of Marketing 56 (January): 69–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. — 1996. “The Static and Dynamic Mechanics of Competition: A Comment on Hunt and Morgan’s Comparative Advantage Theory.”Journal of Marketing 60 (October): 102–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. — 1997.Marketing Management. Fort Worth, TX: Dryden.Google Scholar
  29. DiMaggio, Paul J. and Walter W. Powell. 1983. “The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields.”American Sociological Review 48: 147–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Dutton, J. H., A. Thomas, and J. E. Butler. 1984. “The History of Progress Functions as a Managerial Technology.”Business History Review 58 (Summer): 204–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Evans, Philip. 2000. “The End of the End Game.”Business Strategy 21 (November–December).Google Scholar
  32. Farris, Paul W., Willem Verbeke, and Peter R. Dickson. 1998. “Path Dependencies and the Long-Term Effects of Marketing Decisions.”Marketing Letters 9: 247–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. — and Phillip Pfeifer. 2000. “All You Needed to Know About the New Economy You Learned From Playing Monopoly.” Working Paper. Darden School, University of Virginia. Charlottesville.Google Scholar
  34. Forrester, Jay W. 1961.Industrial Dynamics. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  35. Glazer, R. 1991. “Marketing in an Information-Intensive Environment: Strategic Implications of Knowledge as an Asset.”Journal of Marketing 55 (October): 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Grannovetter, M. and R. Soong. 1986. “Threshold Models of Interpersonal Effects in Consumer Demand.”Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 7: 83–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gronroos, C. 1984.Strategic Management and Marketing in the Service Sector. Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.Google Scholar
  38. Hamel, G. 1998. “Opinion: Strategy Innovation and the Quest for Value.”Sloan Management Review 39 (Winter): 7–14.Google Scholar
  39. Hatfield, E., J. T. Cacioppo, and R. L. Rapson. 1994.Emotional Contagion. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Haunschild, P. R. and A. S. Miner. 1997. “Modes of Interoganizational Imitation: The Effects of Outcome Salience and Uncertainty.”Administrative Science Quarterly 42 (September): 472–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hayek, Frederick A. 1978.New Studies in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and the History of Ideas. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  42. Henderson, R. and K. B. Clark. 1990. “Architectural Innovation: The Reconfiguration of Existing Product Technologies and the Failure of Established Firms.”Administrative Science Quarterly 35: 9–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hindle, Tim. 1998.Pocket Strategy: The Essentials of Business Strategy From A to Z. London: The Economist Books.Google Scholar
  44. Hirsch, W. Z. 1952. “Manufacturing Progress Functions.”Review of Economics and Statistics 34 (May): 143–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hof, Robert, Debra Sparks, Ellen Neuborne, and Wendy Zellner. 2000. “Can Amazon Make It?”Business Week, July 10, pp. 38–43.Google Scholar
  46. Hutheesing, N. and J. Young. 1996. “The Curse of the Market Leader.”Forbes, July 29, pp. 78–81.Google Scholar
  47. Jervis, Robert. 1998.System Effects. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Johnson, P. 1992.Modern Times. New York: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  49. Kahneman, D. and D. Lovallo. 1993. “Timid Choice and Bold Forecast: A Cognitive Perspective on Risk Taking.”Management Science 39 (January): 17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. — and A. Tversky. 1982. “The Simulation Heuristic.” InJudgement Under Uncertaintly: Heuristics and Biases. Eds. Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic, and Amos Tversky. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 201–208.Google Scholar
  51. Kirkpatrick, D. 1997. “He Wants ALL Your Business—And He’s Starting to Get It.”Fortune, May 26, pp. 58–68.Google Scholar
  52. Kotabe, M. and K. S. Swan. 1995. “The Roleof Strategic Alliances in High-Technology New Product Development.”Strategic Management Journal 16 (November): 621–636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Langlois, R. N. 1997. “Cognition and Capabilities: Opportunities Seized and Missed in the History of the Computer Industry.” InTechnological Innovation: Oversights and Foresights. Eds. R. Garud, P. R. Nayyar, and Z. B. Shapira. New York: Cambridge University Press, 71–94.Google Scholar
  54. Levin, R., A. Klevorick, N. Nelson, and S. Winter. 1984. “Survey Research on R&D Appropriability and Technological Opportunity.” Unpublished manuscript. Yale University, New Haven, CT.Google Scholar
  55. Levinthal, D. and J. Myatt. 1994. “Co-Evolution of Capabilities and Industry: The Evolution of Mutual Fund Processing.”Strategic Management Journal 15: 45–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. March, J. G. 1991. “Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning.”Organization Science 2 (February): 71–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Mintzberg, Henry and Joseph Lampel. 1999. “Reflecting on the Strategy Process.”Sloan Management Review 40 (Spring): 21–30.Google Scholar
  58. Morecroft, J. D. W. 1983. “System Dynamics: Portraying Bounded Rationality.”Omega 11: 131–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Nelson, R. R. and S. G. Winter. 1982.An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Pascale, Richard T. 1999. “Surfing the Edge of Chaos,”Sloan Management Review 40 (Spring): 83–94.Google Scholar
  61. Penchant, T. C. and I. L. Mitroff. 1992.Transforming the Crisis-Prone Organization. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  62. Porac, J. F. 1997. “Local Rationality, Global Blunders, and the Boundaries of Technological Choice: Lessons From IBM and DOS.” InTechnological Innovation: Oversights and Foresights. Eds. R. Garud, P. R. Nayyar, and Z. B. Shapira. New York: Cambridge University Press, 129–146.Google Scholar
  63. Reinhardt, A. 1997. “Bulking up for Battle.”Business Week, July 7, p. 47.Google Scholar
  64. Rogers, E. M. 1995.Diffusion of Innovations. 4th ed. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  65. Romer, P. M. 1986. “Inereasing Returns and Long-Run Growth.”Journal of Political Economy 94 (October): 1002–1037.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Rosenberg, N. 1982.Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Schoemaker, P. J. H. 1990. “Strategy, Complexity and Economic Rent.”Management Science 36 (October): 1178–1192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. — 1995. “Scenario Planning: A Tool for Strategic Thinking.”Sloan Management Review 36 (Winter): 25–39.Google Scholar
  69. Selznick, P. 1957.Leadership in Administration: A Sociological Interpretation. New York: Harper & Rowe.Google Scholar
  70. Senge, P. M. 1990.The Fifth Discipline. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  71. Shapiro, C. and H. R. Varian. 1999.Information Rules. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  72. Simon, H. A. 1979. “Rational Decision Making in Business Organizations.”American Economic Review 69 (September): 493–512.Google Scholar
  73. — 1984. “On the Behavioral and Rational Foundations of Economic Dynamics.”Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 5: 35–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Slater, Stanley F. and John C. Narver. 2000. “Intelligence Generation and Superior Customer Value.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 28 (Winter): 120–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Solow, R. M. 1994. “Perspectives on Growth Theory.”Journal of Ecolomic Perspectives 8 (Winter); 45–54.Google Scholar
  76. — 1997.Learning From “Learning-by-doing.” Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  77. Stacey, R. D. 1995. “The Science of Complexity: An Alternative Perspective for Strategic Change Processes.”Strategic Management Journal 16: 477–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Stuart, I., P. Deckert, D. McCutcheon, and R. Kunst. 1998. “Case Study: A Leveraged Learning Network.”Sloan Management Review 39 (Summer): 81–93.Google Scholar
  79. Sullivan, M. 1990. “Measuring Image Spillovers in Umbrella-Branded Products.”Journal of Business 63: 309–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Teece, D. J. 1988. “Capturing Value from Technological Innovation: Integration, Strategic Partnering, and Licensing Decisions.”Interfaces 18 (May–June): 46–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. —, G. Pisano, and A. Shuen. 1997. “Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management.”Strategic Management Journal 18 (7): 509–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Tellis, G. and P. Golder. 1996. “First to Market, First to Fail? Real Causes of Enduring Market Leadership.”Sloan Management Review 37 (Winter): 65–75.Google Scholar
  83. ——. 2001.Will and Vision: How Latecomers Came to Dominate American Business. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  84. Tversky, A. and D. Kahneman. 1982. “Availability: A Heuristic for Judging Frequency and Probability.” InJudgement Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Eds. D. Kahneman, P. Slovic, and A. Tversky. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 177.Google Scholar
  85. Urbany, J. E. and P. R. Dickson. 1991. “The Effects of Price-Cutting Momentum and Consumer Search on Price Setting in the Grocery Market.”Marketing Letters 2 (4): 393–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Varadarajan, P. Rajan. 1999. “Strategy Content and Process Perspectives Revisited.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 27 (Winter): 88–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. — and Satish Jayachandran. 1999. “Marketing Strategy: An Assessment of the State of the Field and Outlook.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 28 (Spring): 120–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Winsor, R. D. 1995. “Marketing Under Conditions of Chaos: Percolation Metaphors and Models.”Journal of Business Research 34 (November): 181–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Wright, T. P. 1936. “Factors Affecting the Cost of Airplanes.”Journal of Aeronautical Science 3 (February): 122–128.Google Scholar
  90. Zaltman, G., K. Lematers, and M. Heffring. 1982.Theory Construction in Marketing: Some Thoughts on Thinking. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter R. Dickson
    • 1
  • Paul W. Farris
    • 2
  • Willem J. M. I. Verbeke
    • 3
  1. 1.Florida International UniversityUSA
  2. 2.University of VirginiaUSA
  3. 3.University of RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations