Aging with grace in the new product race? An empirical study of aesthetic-related product failures

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Conference Proceeding

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Extant research has established that firms take on core rigidities as they age, which impair their dynamic application of capabilities in new environments. This study examines aesthetic-related product failures in the consumer products industry. All firms may suffer product failures, but we know little about why some firms have more or less aesthetic-related failures. The type of failures that a firm may encounter may be tilted toward or away from aesthetic failures due to the interplay of core capabilities and core rigidities. Specifically, an analysis of product failure descriptions demonstrates that older firms are more likely than younger firms to suffer aesthetic-related product failures when they introduce products that are new to the firm. However, the results are reversed for known to firm products, where older firms are less likely than younger firms to experience aesthetic-related product failures compared with other types of product failures. These results suggest that the tension between core capabilities and core rigidities offers a potent explanation for patterns of aesthetic product failures.

Publisher's Statement

© 2013 Academy of Management. Publisher’s version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2013.10724abstract

Publication Title

Academy of Management Proceedings