Emerging Economy Copycats: Capability, Environment, and Strategy

Yadong Luo; Jinyun Sun; Lu Wang, Stephanie
May 2011
Academy of Management Perspectives;May2011, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p37
Academic Journal
Case Study
Emerging economy enterprises nowadays relentlessly scale the value chain in a quest to compete on the world stage in part by copying the products of others. They develop new products and services that are dramatically less expensive than their Western equivalents. In this article we discuss what these copycats are and how they have grown in their unique trajectory. We emphasize their unique capabilities and weaknesses, internal and external conditions that foster growth, and strategies and paths that transform them along a continuum from duplicative imitators to creative imitators and ultimately to novel innovators. To this end, we present the CHAIN Framework (combinative, hardship-surviving, absorptive, intelligence, and networking) capabilities to showcase the copycats' capabilities and discuss STORM conditions (social, technological, organizational, regulatory, and market) that spur their growth. Finally, we present four case studies of copycats and discuss future research on this issue.


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