Charles Williams Wins the Glueck Best Paper Award
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Charles Williams Wins the Glueck Best Paper Award

HIS STUDY, WITH TWO BOCCONI GRADUATES NOW WORKING AT THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE, HIGHLIGHTS WHAT HAPPENS IN THE MOBILE TLC INDUSTRY WHEN SWITCHING COSTS FALL

A study co-authored by Charles Williams, Associate Professor of Strategy at Bocconi Department of Management and Technology, won the William F. Glueck Best Paper Award, assigned by the Strategic Management Division of the Academy of Management at the annual congress of the society.
 
In “Markets Frictions and Competitive Positions: Lessons from the Mobile Telecommunications Market,” Prof. Williams and his co-authors Niloofar Abolfathi and Simone Santamaria (both Bocconi graduates now working at the National University of Singapore) use the advent of mobile number portability to observe which firms thrive when switching costs (a kind of market friction) fall. Their sample includes 458 mobile telecommunications firms in 81 countries, in a period that spans from 2000 to 2017.
 
Mobile TLC firms can be either multi-segment (offering both pre- and post-paid services) or single-segment (offering only one of the two services). “A multi-segment competitive position,” Prof. Williams says, “gives customers the flexibility to change between offerings
as their preferences evolve over time, without a need to switch providers. Such a value creation mechanism, though, turns out to be effective only in the presence of high costs of switching from one provider to another. We observe that when such costs fall, specialists thrive.”

by Fabio Todesco
Bocconi Knowledge newsletter

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