Lee, Myunghwan, Gene Moo Lee, Hasan Cavusoglu, Marc-David L. Seidel. “Strategic Competitive Positioning: Unsupervised Operationalization of a Structural Hole-based Firm-specific Construct”, [Latest version: Aug 15, 2023]
- doc2vec model of 10-K reports: Link
- Presented at UBC MIS Seminar 2018, CIST 2019 (Seattle, WA), KrAIS 2019 (Munich, Germany), DS 2021 (online), KrAIS 2021 (Austin, TX), UT Dallas 2022, KAIST 2022, Korea Univ 2022, INFORMS 2022 (Indianapolis, IN)
- Funded by Sauder Exploratory Grant 2019
- Research assistants: Raymond Situ, Sahil Jain
In this paper, we build on the network structural hole concept of organizational theory to theorize an individual firm-specific strategic competitive positioning (SCP) construct. We use unsupervised document embedding approaches to operationalize the SCP construct by capturing each firm’s relative competitive and strategic positioning in a strategic similarity matrix of all existing U.S. publicly traded firms’ annual corporate filings. This approach enables us to construct a theoretically driven firm-level SCP measure with minimal human expert intervention. Our construct dynamically captures competitive positioning across different firms and years without using artificially bounded and often outdated industry classification systems. We illustrate how the dynamic measure captures industry-level and cross-industry strategic changes. Then, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our construct with an empirical analysis showing the imprinting and dynamic effects of SCP on firm performance. The results show that our dynamic SCP measure outperforms existing competition measures and successfully predicts post-IPO performance. This paper makes significant contributions to the information systems and organizations literatures by proposing an organizational theory-based unsupervised approach to dynamically conceptualize and measure firm-level strategic competitive positioning. The construct can be easily applied to firm-specific, industry-level, and cross-industry research questions in many contexts across many disciplines.