Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Clark, Terry

Abstract

Much of the literature in marketing on competitive market processes identifies knowledge as both a heterogeneous resource and capability. In addition, the literature on knowledge identifies and defines different types of knowledge which fail the test of being scientific, but have proven to be useful to both scholars and practitioners. However, within the theory of competitive processes, very little research has specifically examined the type of market knowledge that is used to identify opportunities. In particular, context-specific knowledge is often implied; yet, very little of the research has examined that type of market knowledge described in Hayek (1945) as knowledge of "particular circumstances of time and place" (p.52). This gap in the literature is one area to be studied to contribute to theory of competitive market processes. This study formalizes a type of market knowledge which is highly localized and transitory within dynamic markets. The concept of Ephemeral Market Knowledge (EMK) is introduced as a type of context-specific market knowledge. A proposed working definition is studied using a Grounded Theory Approach (GTA) to identify and examine knowledge properties and examine the use of EMK. Results from coding and analysis identify four themes in the data. First, Opportunity represents two general categories of EMK. In addition, two thematic properties of EMK were identified: Window of Time and Place. Within Window of Time, a sub-theme of Timing also emerged through analysis. Moreover, Speed emerged as a theme separate from Window of Time, and reflects the rate of response within Window of Time. This study is the initial step to understanding EMK as a type of context-specific knowledge that is pervasive in competitive market processes. Future research should include further examination of both the explicit and tacit components of EMK, along with decision-making and implementation, to advance a theory of the role of both in competitive processes.

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