Pankaj Ghemawat

Commitment to a Process Innovation: Nucor, USX, and Thin-Slab Casting

This paper studies the order of adoption of a process innovation, thin-slab casting, by U.S. steel makers. A game-theoretic model of technology adoption with capacity constraints indicates that incumbents are likely to trail entrants in adopting process technologies that reduce the minimal scale required to compete. Evidence from the case study also indicates, however, that the sorts of interactive effects emphasized by game-theoretic models may be dominated by the effects of competitors’ heterogeneous precommitments.