Explaining Competitor’s Reactions to New Product Introductions: The Roles of Event Characteristics, Managerial Interpretation, and Competitive Context
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Competitive reactions to new product introductions can be explained by observable characteristics related to the event, and by the interpretations of these factors by the defending competitors. A general model of competitive response is developed to explore the mediating role of interpretation factors between event characteristics and reaction decisions, and to study the contextual factors that moderate the relationship between event characteristics and interpretations. Results clearly demonstrate that if the interpretation factor is not taken into account researchers may overlook the influence of important variables explaining competitive reactions. Also, results indicate heterogeneity among managers regarding their interpretation of observable characteristics. Possible moderating factors are explored. The outcomes of this study are important both for new scientific insights in competitive reaction decision making, and for managers who act in the competitive arena.