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How to overcome path dependency through resource reconfiguration

Goumagias, Nikolaos and Fernandes, Kiran Jude and Nucciarelli, Alberto and Li, Feng (2022) 'How to overcome path dependency through resource reconfiguration.', Journal of Business Research, 145 . pp. 78-91.


Firms reconfigure their resources when responding to changes in their external or internal environment, often by incorporating new knowledge and resources in collaboration with external stakeholders. However, the reconfiguration process is challenging, costly, and often fails. The firm’s history plays an important role in the resource reconfiguration process being path dependent. Path dependency, debatably, leads to lock-in effects that prevent reconfiguration. However, we argue that this is a very limited viewpoint. In this paper, drawing empirical evidence from the digital games industry, we contend that path dependency constrains the reconfiguration action space and can potentially improve strategic planning by identifying the paths of least resistance. Depending on the extent of the reconfiguration, we identify two alternatives: direct reconfiguration (horizontal reconfiguration) or increasing the complexity by incorporating additional configurations (vertical reconfiguration).

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 03 September 2023.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
File format - PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© 2022 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Date accepted:12 February 2022
Date deposited:01 June 2022
Date of first online publication:03 March 2022
Date first made open access:03 September 2023

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