# Identifying and Comparing Strategic Groups Using Alternative Methods: Method Validation and Group Convergence in a Single Mature Industry

Chapter

## Abstract

Three distinct methods of identifying and analyzing strategic groups are reviewed and compared both theoretically and empirically. A framework for simultaneously examining an industry — in this case, acute care hospitals in a U.S. metropolitan area — through each of the three theoretical lenses is presented. The resulting framework for comparing and combining results yielded via application of disparate theories enables a richer understanding of the dynamic nature of firm strategy. Reasonable concerns that have been raised regarding the utility of strategic groups research are used as a springboard to the development of richer methods of analysis.

## Keywords

Acute Care Hospital Perceptual Group Perceptual Dimension Strategic Group Direct Group
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997