Configurations of Strategy and Structure: towards a synthesis

  • Danny Miller


In recent years the field of business strategy/policy has made some very significant advances. The conceptual work of Porter (1980) and the empirical studies of the PIMS data by Hambrick and his collaborators (1983, 1983a) are among the most interesting. These authors have derived extremely suggestive conceptual typologies and empirical taxonomies of strategy, focusing on variables that have enjoyed much attention from industrial economists — variables that were shown repeatedly to influence performance; those that can often be manipulated by managers. These include differentiation (e.g. innovation, advertising, product quality); cost leadership (capacity utilization, relative direct costs); focus (breadth of product lines, heterogeneity of clientele); and asset parsimony (fixed assets to revenue). Dimensions of market power are also considered (market share rank, barriers to entry, dependence on suppliers and customers), as are performance variables (ROI, earnings variability, growth in market share). The importance of some of these dimensions had already been suggested by Hofer and Schendel (1978) and Henderson (1979).


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© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1989

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  • Danny Miller

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