Same as it ever was: The search for evidence of increasing hypercompetition

Gerry McNamara, Paul M. Vaaler, Cynthia Devers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Some strategy scholars and practitioners contend that markets have become increasingly hypercompetitive in recent years. We examine this contention by analyzing industry and business performance patterns in a broad sample of firms drawn from the Compustat Industry Segment database for the 1978-97 period. We find little support for the argument that markets have become more hypercompetitive. From the late 1970s to the late-1980s we observe decreased performance and market stability, consistent with increasing hypercompetition contentions. From the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, however, trends reverse and performance and market stability increase. For strategy research, our results suggest that hypercompetitive perspectives are important but no more so now than they were in recent years. For practice, our results suggest that managers today face markets no more dynamic and opportunities to gain and sustain competitive advantage no more challenging than in the past. Accordingly, they should continue developing a portfolio of skills to manage business whether conditions are increasingly stable or unstable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-278
Number of pages18
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2003


  • Hypercompetition
  • Performance stability
  • Sustainable advantage


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