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This article theoretically elaborates and empirically investigates the alignment of the value creation and capture capabilities of Treacy and Wiersema's (1993, 1995) typology of three strategies for superior customer value (product leadership, operational excellence, and customer intimacy). Drawing on configuration theory, the current study develops three propositions that predict how each strategy in Treacy and Wiersema's typology corresponds to a particular mix of value creation and capture capabilities, which lead to competitive advantage and success in the marketplace. Using fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis, data from a multi-industry sample of 110 R&D managers and 242 customers serve to empirically identify the operating models of the three conceptually derived strategies and their customer value performance. The results confirm the three strategies and indicate that each exhibits a unique combination of value creation capabilities and a carefully aligned set of value capture capabilities. Although the three strategies demand clear trade-offs in the value creation domain, those trade-offs do not exist for value capture.
5.1. Research implications Treacy and Wiersema's (1993, 1995) typology is widely disseminated in business practice and gaining momentum in strategic management literature (e.g. Homburg & Bucerius, 2006; Thornhill & White, 2007). Inspired by the notion underlying this typology and drawing on marketing research that indicates the integration of value creation and capture as crucial for firms to achieve sustainable superior customer value (e.g. Fang et al., 2011; Mizik & Jacobson, 2003; Srinivasan et al., 2011), the current study set out to provide a detailed theoretical elaboration and empirical test of how value creation and capture capabilities align in Treacy and Wiersema's typology. For the three value disciplines—product leadership, operational excellence, and customer intimacy—this research conceptually derives relevant sets of key value creation and capture capabilities and develops propositions about which combinations and alignments create competitive advantage through superior customer value. The results confirm the existence of three equifinal pathways (e.g., Meyer et al., 1993) to high customer loyalty that resembles the previously identified strategies. Present and absent value creation and capture capabilities within each solution, as well as the degree to which they are relevant (i.e., core or peripheral), reveal that specific configurations effectively create the causal conditions for performance, which support the configurational lens adopted as a theoretical perspective.