The power of words: Word responses in multimarket competition

About the Research

Previous research has highlighted the importance of using action responses to sustain mutual forbearance when it is upset. Yet, we argue that such retaliation may risk escalating the rivalry into a multimarket war, thus creating incentives to use an alternative form of response that has been largely overlooked: a word response. Drawing from the awareness-motivation-capability framework, we theorize that a high level of multimarket contact (MMC) with an attacker increases a focal firm’s likelihood of using word responses rather than action responses when mutual forbearance is upset. However, this relationship will be moderated by the focal firm’s perceived effectiveness of word responses in deescalating rivalry. Evidence from our sample of 20 consumer electronics manufacturers from the period spanning 2007 to 2014 largely supports our predictions.

About Tieying Yu

Tieying Yu ( is an associate professor at Boston College.  She received her Ph.D. from Texas A & M University.  Professor Yu’s research focuses on understanding firms’ strategic decisions, and how these decisions affect interfirm rivalry and competitive advantages, especially in a multi-market competition context (i.e., when firms compete simultaneously against the same rivals in more than one market). She has conducted research in various domestic and global settings, including the airline, automotive, and pharmaceutical industries. Her work has been published in journals like Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review and Journal of International Business Studies

Date: Thursday 12 May

Time: 12:00-13:30 CET

Venue: Zoom

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