Research proposal: Industry convergence - Driving forces, factors and consequences
Industry convergence – the merger of hitherto separate industries – is a phenomenon that has had a profound effect on several industries and received considerable interest among practitioners and business press over the past decades. Despite this, industry con- vergence has only received limited attention from the academic management field, al- though an emergent discussion on convergence can be identified. Prior research is limited by a lack of coherent theoretical definitions of convergence, and a tendency to focus on technological aspects rather than on consequences for industry structure and individ- ual firms. Moreover, there is lack of empirical work in actual convergent industry set- tings. This research proposal reviews some of the literature on convergence to date, in order to develop a theoretical framework of industry convergence that takes drivers, types and consequences on industry and firm level into account. The preliminary frame- work positions industry convergence as being conceptually and causally distinct from technology convergence, although the two are often intrinsically linked. Industry con- vergence is defined as a process whereby two or more industries – made up of producers of substitute products – converge over time, and where the outcome is uncertain with many alternatives. Two main types of industry convergence are proposed, convergence in substitutes and convergence in complements. With a view to increase the understanding of industry convergence, the preliminary theoretical framework will be applied in a longitudinal case study of the electronic security industry. This sector is currently converging with the IT industry, a process mainly driven by the pervasiveness of Internet Protocol (IP) networking technology, that allows the integration of a number of previously separate security and information systems.
- Business Administration
- security industry
- industry convergence
- in- dustry structure
- technology convergence
19th Business Administration Conference (NFF), 2007