Competitive forbearance: the content, the process, and the outcomes of purposefully not acting

Goce Andrevski, Walter J. Ferrier, Tomi Nokelainen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


    Strategy research has predominantly focused on how firms act and has mainly ignored competitive forbearance: decisions to not act despite a possibility or even a temptation to do so. Competitive forbearance occurs when managers are aware of an opportunity to act, capable of acting, but purposefully choose not to act. In this paper, we develop a theoretical framework for studying competitive forbearance. We first define the concept of competitive forbearance and explain the cognitive process that leads to forbearance. Additionally, we empirically demonstrate that competitive forbearances and acts are driven by different reasons, which suggests that acts and forbearances are qualitatively distinct and complementary in a strategist's competitive repertoire. Finally, we show the implications of competitive forbearance for competitive dynamics research by proposing novel propositions about competitive behavior of firms. We examine competitive forbearance in a basketball coaching setting using an inductive, qualitative research of 841 decisions that basketball coaches have made during 15 basketball games.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
    EditorsJohn Humphreys
    PublisherAcademy of management
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    EventAcademy of Management Annual Conference - Academy of Management Annual Conference
    Duration: 7 Aug 201511 Aug 2015


    ConferenceAcademy of Management Annual Conference


    • Business and Economics

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