Sequencing and timing of strategic responses after industry disruption: Evidence from post-deregulation competition in the US railroad industry

Michael L. Pettus, Yasemin Y. Kor, Joseph T Mahoney, Steven C Michael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article examines the sequencing and timing of firms’ strategic responses after significant industry disruption. We show that it is not the single strategic choice or response per se, but the sequencing and patterns of consecutive strategic responses that drive a firm’s adaptation and survival in the aftermath of a shift in the industry. We find that firms’ renewal efforts involved differential adaptability in finding balance at the juxtaposition of responding to demand-side pressures and choosing a path of new capability acquisition efficiently. Our study underscores the importance of taking a sequencing approach to studying strategic responses to industry disruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-400
Number of pages28
JournalStrategic Organization
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018



  • capability acquisition
  • differential adaptability
  • industry disruption
  • regulatory shift (deregulation)
  • sequencing and timing of strategic responses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management

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