Failure-induced learning, causal ambiguity, and foreign market entry

Jing Yu Yang, Jiatao Li, Andrew Delios

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A key question in organizational learning research is how firms use information from the experiences of other firms in guiding their own strategic choices. In contrast to frequency- and trait-based imitation, this study emphasizes how firms respond when observing negative outcomes of peer firms, and how causal ambiguity moderates this failure-induced learning. Two key findings emerge from our analysis of market entries into China by Japanese multinationals from 1980 to 2000. First, firms are less likely to enter the market when observing a large number of failures by others. Second, the causal ambiguity for prior failures weakens the effect of other firms' failures. The results highlight the importance of considering causal ambiguity in failure-induced learning.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2006 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: 11 Aug 200616 Aug 2006


Conference66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA


  • Causal ambiguity
  • Failure-induced learning
  • Foreign market entry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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