Technical Note | HBS Case Collection | June 2013 (Revised March 2014)

Strategic Complements and Substitutes

by Eric Van den Steen


The framework of strategic complements and substitutes can help companies anticipate competitors' responses. It is particularly helpful in deciding on price- or capacity-commitments (or pre-emption), but it can provide more general guidance for analyzing the potential impact of commitments and pre-emption.

Keywords: competition; economics; game theory; competitive strategy; strategic substitutes; strategic complements; puppy dog strategy; Competitive Strategy; Game Theory; Strategy; Economics;


Van den Steen, Eric. "Strategic Complements and Substitutes." Harvard Business School Technical Note 713-542, June 2013. (Revised March 2014.)