A competency trap exists when an organization accumulates experience with procedures that generate favorable outcomes despite the possible existence of superior procedures (Levitt & March, 1988). Competency traps can be especially problematic for new organizations as routines developed early in an organization’s life can have a lasting imprint on subsequent behaviors. Despite the general acceptance of competency traps within the literature, there has been limited empirical research on how these traps emerge or are linked to higher order capabilities. One factor that can lead to the onset of a competency trap is the rate at which an organization learns (March, 1991). Thus, in this study, I examine whether learning rates affect the likelihood an organization will succumb to a competency trap.
Ciuchta, Michael P.
"EXPLOITING EXPLORATION: AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF PHASE 1 SBIR AWARDS ON SUBSEQUENT AWARD ACTIVITY (SUMMARY),"
Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research: Vol. 27
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalknowledge.babson.edu/fer/vol27/iss10/3