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How to overcome path dependency through resource reconfiguration

Goumagias, Nikolaos; Fernandes, Kiran Jude; Nucciarelli, Alberto; Li, Feng

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Nikolaos Goumagias

Alberto Nucciarelli

Feng Li


Firms reconfigure their resources when responding to changes in their external or internal environment, often by incorporating new knowledge and resources in collaboration with external stakeholders. However, the reconfiguration process is challenging, costly, and often fails. The firm’s history plays an important role in the resource reconfiguration process being path dependent. Path dependency, debatably, leads to lock-in effects that prevent reconfiguration. However, we argue that this is a very limited viewpoint. In this paper, drawing empirical evidence from the digital games industry, we contend that path dependency constrains the reconfiguration action space and can potentially improve strategic planning by identifying the paths of least resistance. Depending on the extent of the reconfiguration, we identify two alternatives: direct reconfiguration (horizontal reconfiguration) or increasing the complexity by incorporating additional configurations (vertical reconfiguration).


Goumagias, N., Fernandes, K. J., Nucciarelli, A., & Li, F. (2022). How to overcome path dependency through resource reconfiguration. Journal of Business Research, 145, 78-91.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 12, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 3, 2022
Publication Date 2022-06
Deposit Date Jun 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 4, 2023
Journal Journal of Business Research
Print ISSN 0148-2963
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 145
Pages 78-91
Public URL


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