Strategy making, novelty and analogical reasoning – commentary on Gavetti, Levinthal, and Rivkin (2005).

This commentary responds to and builds upon a recent article about the role of analogical reasoning in strategy making (Gavetti, Levinthal, and Rivkin, 2005). Based on conceptual and formal analysis, the authors state that in complex and novel contexts, analogical reasoning may be superior to two established models: rational choice and local incremental search. I show that given an alternative conceptualization of the strategy-making context and main models, analogical reasoning is not necessarily superior. Furthermore, in novel and complex contexts, this model and other approaches such as mental experimentation can play a larger role, particularly in inventing effective strategies. I further extend the analysis by considering some boundary conditions in which analogical reasoning and its alternatives best apply, exploring the idea that blending and adapting several search strategies may be more effective than using only one method, such as analogical reasoning, and advancing new directions for empirical research. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal or Publication:
Strategic Management Journal
Moshe Farjoun
Year Published
Relevant Principles:
Download Attachment:
 PDF Download