Competitive dynamics inquiry originates from a sequence of attacks and counterattacks among firms in an industry. Firms attack and respond to attacks of rivals in order to strengthen or defend their competitive position within their competitive space. Competitive dynamics research is thus centered on the analysis of how the firm’s actions affect rivals’ reactions and performance. Actually, the nature of competitive dynamics research is the open recognition that firm strategies are “dynamic”: Strategic actions initiated by one firm may trigger a series of actions among rival firms. The new competitive environment in many industries has generated the inception of furious competition, emphasizing flexibility, speed, and innovation in response to fast-changing technological and institutional conditions and temporary competitive advantages.
The key constructs and the intellectual roots of competitive dynamics (i.e., Schumpeter’s theory of creative destruction and industrial organization economics and related oligopoly theories) offer some practical examples of industry and firm cases where competitive dynamics have found their main applications.
The relevant underpinnings of the awareness–motivation–capability (AMC) framework provide an integrative model of the key behavioral drivers that shape a competitive actions and responses framework (i.e., the factors influencing the firm’s awareness of the context; the factors inducing or impeding the motivation of firms to respond to competitors’ action; and the capability-based factors affecting the firm’s ability to undertake actions), the three key attributes (i.e., the specific actions of firms in the industry, the firm’s competitive interdependence, and the antecedents and performance implications of firms’ competitive actions and reactions), and the three main levels of analysis used in competitive dynamics literature (i.e., action-level studies, business-level studies, and corporate-level studies).
Some insights regarding the relationship between dynamic competition and the sources of temporary competitive advantage, coopetition dynamics, as well as the kind of accelerated competition epitomizing early 21st-century digital dynamics settings update the traditional competitive dynamics flavor, as they are connected with firms’ strategic interaction and the pursuit of temporary advantages.