Abstract

Research suggests that new ventures (NVs) aiming to grow rapidly need to devote considerable time, resources and efforts to develop strategic variety (Ferrier, 2001; Larrañeta, Zahra & Galán, 2014). That is, NVs need to simultaneously deploy a wide range of competitive actions, such as cutting prices, altering product lines and advertisement adjustments, to gain share quickly in each of the markets targeted (Miller & Chen, 1996). Yet, building strategic variety does not always represent a practical alternative for NVs due to their severe resource limitations (Rindova, Ferrier & Wiltbank, 2010). This paper describes a study of the specific environmental circumstances under which NV managers’ decide to simplify or broaden their strategic repertoires. Unpacking the degree of environmental dynamism into its four fundamental sub-dimensions (Davis, Eisenhardt and Bingham, 2009), this paper specifically explores: What are the effects of the degree of environmental velocity, complexity, unpredictability and ambiguity on the choice between strategic simplicity and variety in NVs? In answering this question, we build on the Awareness Motivation Capability framework (Chen, 1996; Chen, Su & Tsai, 2007; Yu & Canella, 2007).

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