Since the early days of strategic management research scientists and managers have tried to find general rules for developing successful business strategies. Numerous articles have been published based on studies that explore research questions like: why are some competitors more profitable than others or what are successful strategies to outperform a competitor. In the beginning of strategic management research, the theoretical background for explaining the strategic behaviour of firms and business units was not very sophisticated. Most studies were purely exploratory and in general, small-scale case studies were the bases to generate assumptions on the causes of business success. A fundamental breakthrough towards a broader theoretical basis for strategic planning was the adoption of concepts and research methods from economic theory in the seventies of the last century. For more than 20 years the structure-conduct-performance paradigm of (traditional) industrial economics served as the fundamental framework for large-scale empirical research in strategic management and strategic marketing. The most influential outcomes of this research stream were Porter's book on "Competitive Strategy" (Porter, 1980) and the various findings of the PIMS project (Buzzell and Gale, 1989).
Journal of Business Research, 2004, Vol 57, Issue 5, May, p. 459-461