Imitation as a business strategy

News Release Date: 
11.02.11

Fisher College of Business professor to speak at Ohio State Marion on “immovation”

Professor Oded Shenkar is an original.  So, it is ironic that The Ohio State University's Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management is advocating imitation as a savvy business strategy. 

Shenkar will visit Maynard Hall's Guthery Community Room, Thursday, November 17, 7 p.m. for a free public discussion of how imitation—or a combination of imitation and innovation, what he calls “immovation,” can lead to greater profits than innovation alone.   

Shenkar notes that the first fast food company was Columbus's White Castle hamburger chain and that the first credit card was Diner's Club—both of which are now bit players in their respective markets while imitators like McDonalds, Visa, and MasterCard have reaped the big rewards. 

Shenkar, a widely published professor of Management and Human Resources at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business, recently published Copycats: How Smart Companies use Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge. 

Shenkar, who grew up in Israel, is an expert on global business, particularly China's rise to power.  China's current and changing role in the global market will also be part of his illustrated discussion.  He will update the themes he developed in his 2006 book, The Chinese Century: The Rising Chinese Economy and Its Impact on the Global Economy, the Balance of Power, and Your Job, in light of the growing middle class in China, and the shift from cheap production to innovative products now being developed in China.