The Effect of the Positioning Strategy on the Firms' Performance Moderated by the Product Market Competition

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Guilherme Lecco Tessarolo
Luiza Gagno Azolin
Luiz Cláudio Louzada


This research aims to investigate the effect of generic positioning strategies (cost leadership and product differentiation), adopted in pure or hybrid form, on firms’ performance and to verify the moderating effect of product market competition in this relationship. A sample with 11,322 firm-year (2008-2019) observations, including data from firms in the G20 countries, was analyzed through logistic regression models. The competition level in the product market is measured using the Herfindahl-Hirshman index. The results indicate that firms adopting a hybrid strategy are more likely to achieve good performances than the others. The relationship between strategic positioning and operational performance is moderated by product market competitiveness level. In a low competition market, the adoption of a strategy is unnecessary. For low to medium levels of competition, pure strategy appears superior. In highly competitive environments, the hybrid strategy is more advantageous. This study brings a new discussion about choosing a more advantageous positioning strategy, in which the main issue is not which positioning strategy is superior, but under what conditions of the market environment the adoption of the hybrid strategy is related to superior performance.  Contributing to advance in this research field, our outputs suggest that the effect of the positioning strategy on performance is moderated by the product market competition. The effort to establish a hybrid strategy is advantageous in highly competitive environments. 


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Tessarolo, G. L., Azolin, L. G., & Louzada, L. C. (2023). The Effect of the Positioning Strategy on the Firms’ Performance Moderated by the Product Market Competition. Brazilian Administration Review, 20(4), e210124.
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