This paper considers pricing and remanufacturing strategy of a firm that decides to offer both new and remanufactured versions of its product in the market and is concerned with demand cannibalization. We present a model of demand cannibalization and a behavioral study that estimates a key modeling parameter: a fraction of consumers who switch from new to remanufactured product. As we show, this fraction has an inverted-U shape, and, thus, the underlying consumer behavior cannot be modeled using the standard methodologies that rely on consumers' willingness to pay (WTP). We find that by incorporating the inverted-U-shaped consumer behavior, the firm remanufactures under broader conditions, charges a much lower price, and typically remanufactures more units—leading to an increase of profits from remanufacturing by up to a factor of two as compared with making decisions based on the WTP only. Lastly, we find that the behavior of the low-price market segment plays an important role because the firm reacts to it differently than the WTP-based logic would suggest.
Strategy researchers have argued that heterogeneity in firms' practices and profitability within and across industries may derive from industry-level differences in the extent of interdependencies among firms' activities. Theoretical models have clarified how and why differences in the extent of the interdependencies faced by firms across industries may affect the distributions of firm profits, but the specific predictions from these models have not been empirically tested. In this paper, we present what we believe is the first large scale empirical analysis linking differences in the extent of interdependencies across industries to differences in the distribution of firm profits within and across those industries. We use survey data to measure interdependencies systematically across a wide number of industries, thus addressing the primary obstacle to incorporating interdependencies in larger scale empirical work, and find evidence consistent with the theoretical predictions: average profitability is highest in industries with moderate levels of interdependency; the dispersion of profits among firms is higher in industries with more extensive interdependencies; and industries with more extensive interdependencies have a more positively skewed performance distribution. We find that the effect of interdependencies on average industry profitability is similar in scale to the effect of patent protection and industry growth rates, placing interdependency squarely among the strategy field's central concepts.