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Minding Your Distance: How Management Consulting Firms Use Service Marks to Position Competitively

Matthew Semadeni
Strategic Management Journal
Vol. 27, No. 2 (Feb., 2006), pp. 169-187
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20142324
Page Count: 19
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Minding Your Distance: How Management Consulting Firms Use Service Marks to Position Competitively
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Abstract

This research examines the dyadic dynamics of positioning (i.e., determining where to locate relative to rivals) of services by consulting firms. Positioning near to or far from competitors offers both advantages and disadvantages in terms of competition, legitimacy, uncertainty, and spillovers, with recent research suggesting that firms seek balance between these various forces. Using a sample of service mark filings by consulting firms, I examine the effects of similarity, age, size, and prospective services on service positioning. Results indicate that positioning is both dyadic and multidimensional in nature, with firms maximizing the advantages of positioning either near or far, while minimizing the disadvantages.

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