Imitation as an Organizational Competitive Strategy for Growth and Sustainability

  • Robert Otuya University of Eldoret
Keywords: Imitation strategy, organizational competitiveness


Institutional theory suggests that firms imitate other firms with ideal traits, whereas the strategic scholars’ literature on imitation suggests firms imitate similar firms. Broadly, Imitation can be described as the drive of a competitor to replicate a company’s successful business model in terms of the introduction of new products and processes, in the adoption of managerial methods and organizational forms, and in market entry and the timing of investment. This paper reviews literature on theories that support imitation strategy, when imitation is the best strategy, how imitation help market leaders to stay ahead and how it affects new market entrants. Findings from literature review suggest that imitation as a strategy has continued to shape the competitiveness in modern corporations. Strategies that are largely based on imitation have seen the shakeout and emergence of new innovations and dominant technologies over time. Imitation of products, process, and technology has also led to improved industry standards. The paper recommends that firms opting for imitation business models should do it innovatively and ethically to attain healthy competition in the market place. It further argues that successful imitation rather than innovation may be a better way to sustain the business in an environment that is uncertain and pervaded with stiff competition. Even better, borrowing ideas from others and combining that with own creativity, can build strong competitive advantages for businesses that would otherwise be pushed out of the play field.

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How to Cite
Otuya, R. (2018). Imitation as an Organizational Competitive Strategy for Growth and Sustainability. Africa Journal of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, 3(1), 173-184. Retrieved from