Success strategies in declining industries - A case survey

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
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OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY The broad aim of this research is to understand how organizations can succeed in declining industries. This is examined from the viewpoint of strategy, where strategy types are used to explain success in declining industries. In particular, this research aims at uncovering what kind of strategies lead to success in certain kinds of decline conditions. Existing research on this topic has focused on population ecology and strategic management. This research aims at linking these two discourses to produce an investigation of how a member of a distinct population can succeed, when the population faces decline. RESEARCH METHOD This research is both qualitative and quantitative in nature. This research uses existing case studies that have been published in academic journals as the data. In total 27 case studies were selected for this study. This data is analyzed by using a survey. In addition, the survey data was complemented with qualitative analyses of the case studies. FINDINGS The research produced intriguing findings. Firstly, organizations that have a proactive stance towards their environment hold a change of succeeding in a declining industry. Different strategy types exhibited tendencies to succeed in certain decline conditions. Of the three strategy types that were able to succeed, two were polar opposites of each other and succeeded in almost polar opposite decline conditions. The third strategy that combined these two types was able to succeed in all of the decline conditions as it was able to leverage their capabilities differently in different decline conditions.
declining industries, success, strategic choice, population ecology, case survey
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