Return to Main Page  
  Competitive Implications of Inter-firm Mobility (with G. Cattani and F.C. Wezel), Organization Science, 2006.



This paper examines the competitive consequences of inter-firm mobility. Since the loss of key members (defined as top decision-makers) to competing firms may amount to a diffusion of a firmís higher order routines, we investigate the conditions under which inter-firm mobility triggers this event. In particular, we focus on: (1) when inter-firm mobility entails groups rather than single individuals; (2) when outbound members found a new enterprise rather than joining an existing competitor; and (3) when members in the destination firm shares the same context as in their prior firm. To address these questions, we examined membership lists pertinent to the Dutch accounting industry to study key member exits and firm dissolutions over the period 1880Ė1986. We exploit information on the type of membership migration and the competitive saliency of the destination firm as inferred from the recipient status (incumbent vs. start-up) and its geographic location (same vs. different province). The dissolution risk is highest when collective inter-firm mobility results in a new venture within the same geographical area. The theoretical and normative implications of this study are discussed.