Sub-theme 44: Competitive Dynamics: Exploring New Textures and Deep-Structure Processes of Action

Walter Ferrier
Gatton College of Business, University of Kentucky, USA
Tomi Nokelainen
Tampere University of Technology, Finland
Goce Andrevski
Queen's School of Business, Queen's University, Canada

Call for Papers

The stream of research in strategic management known as competitive dynamics conceptualizes strategy as the exchange of competitive actions between organizations. In the 20+ years since its inception, competitive dynamics has steadily gained traction among an increasingly diverse spectrum of scholars in the administrative sciences. Indeed, there are a growing number of studies that have explored how, for example, decision-making processes, managerial psychology and cognition, inter-organizational networks, and factor-market competition influences competitive behaviour. Further research has also made significant gains in how competitive actions are measured and aggregated – from individual actions to action-reaction dyads to competitive action repertoires to action sequences. Studies at various "levels of aggregation" may help advance our understanding of how organizational processes and context give rise to different patterns, tendencies, and styles of competitive actions – simplicity, aggressiveness, unpredictability, conformity, and pattern motif – impact organizational outcomes.

These advances in concept, theory, and measurement notwithstanding, little is known about the existence and effects of more subtle and nuanced properties of individual actions, action repertoires, and action sequences beyond their visible and structural characteristics. By incorporating ideas from diverse fields such as experimental aesthetics, molecular and evolutionary biology, cognitive and Gestalt psychology, music theory, medicine, acoustical engineering, or other fields, this EGOS sub-theme seeks contributions that explore entirely new conceptualizations of competitive action and the processes that drive action. This sub-theme aims to establish a set of new conceptual, theoretical and empirical frontiers in competitive dynamics research by exploring questions such as:

  • What is competitive action?
    Do competitive actions or action patterns exhibit meaningful, salient design properties such as texture, intentionality, harmony, resonance, hue, pitch, half-life, plasticity, symbiosis, Feng Shui, refraction, cleavage, and other attributes?
  • What are yet-to-be-discovered drivers of action?
    Is the design of individual actions or action patterns driven by managerial cognitive alertness and creativity, hubris, personality traits of decision-makers, organizational identity, interorganizational connections, or other deep-structure attributes and processes?
  • What are new/alternative lenses through which to view action?
    Can competitive dynamics scholars develop new methodological lenses and alternative research designs perhaps drawn from other disciplines and fields that may be ideally suited to explore the design attributes of actions, action patterns, and the full range of organizational processes that drive action?

We seek forward-thinking papers in all stages of development: from well-reasoned theoretical papers to early-stage construct development to large-sample empirical studies. The sub-theme convenors are committed to providing a creative, interactive, and immersive environment that encourages mutual learning among participants and fosters open, developmental dialogue and feedback for contributors. Discussants will be assigned to comment on each sub-theme paper/presentation.


Walter Ferrier Walter Ferrier (Ph.D, Maryland) is a Gatton Endowed Associate Professor of Strategic Management in the Gatton College of Business at the University of Kentucky, and briefly served as a visiting professor at the Helsinki University of Technology. His research interests lie mainly in the areas of dynamic competitive interaction, strategic leadership, and the structure of inter-organizational networks. He won the Academy of Management Journal’s “Best Paper Award” for his research on competitive interaction published in 1999.
Tomi Nokelainen Tomi Nokelainen (Ph.D., Tampere University of Technology) is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Tampere University of Technology. Beyond his empirical studies in competitive dynamics, his research focuses on the advancement of both theory and methodological approaches in this stream of research. He was awarded an Academy of Finland research fellowship.
Goce Andrevski Goce Andrevski (Ph.D., Kentucky) is an Assistant Professor of Strategy and Organization at Queen’s School of Business. His research interests lie at the intersection of strategic entrepreneurship, competitive dynamics, and inter-organizational networks.