This paper proposes the “fields and weapons of the competition model applied to business networks” – CAC-Redes (in Portuguese, Campos e Armas da Competição – Redes de negócio), an extension of the fields and weapons of the competition model (CAC) – to study the competition and competitiveness of companies operating in business networks in a competitive environment while integrating organizational competencies, interorganizational ties and company positioning to provide competitive advantage.
CAC-Redes is born from the cross-fertilization process of various theoretical perspectives, namely, industrial organization, traditional view of operational activities and resources, relational view, strategic alignment, transaction cost theory and social perspectives in networks, structured according to systems theory and under the mantle of competitive advantage theory. To discover the structure of existing models of competitiveness in networks, a bibliographic search was conducted in the Scopus database. Quali-quantitative empirical research was undertaken in companies from six different economic sectors through structured questionnaires and personal interviews to understand how companies competed and discover the determining factors of their competitive advantage.
Only seven models of competitiveness in network were found, and their structures and characteristics are quite different from those of CAC-Redes. Empirical research confirms all the hypotheses that support CAC-Redes, which, combined with those of CAC, indicate the CAC-Redes corroboration.
CAC-Redes does not apply to networks without intercompany competition, studies on network governance and corporate strategy formulation.
CAC-Redes is effective in studying complex competitiveness phenomena because it considers multiple influences; provides a process based on qualitative and quantitative variables that increase the probability of formulating successful competitive strategies; simplifies the differentiation of skills from core competencies and determines them; proposes a competitive advantage criterion to select suppliers; creates a unifying language to represent the different strategic specificities of companies, competitors, suppliers, customers and the company environment and provides a library containing 181 weapons (resources) and dozens of interorganizational ties that can be used in empirical studies with other methodologies.
CAC-Redes, due to its originality and peculiarities, theoretically contributes to theory of resources because it dispenses with the assumption, “unique resource, source of competitive advantage”; to relational view because it considers interorganizational relationships as a competence and treats it quali-quantitatively and to core competencies because if the strategy changes, different core competencies will be needed. Furthermore, it is an alternative to the dynamic capabilities perspective, and it transforms the five manufacturing performance objectives into nine for the entire company.
CAC-Redes is an original model because its structure and characteristics comparatively differ from those of existing models, and 14 singularities are detected.
The authors are grateful to Mrs. Dinan Dhom Pimentel Satyro for providing linguistic assistance.
Contador, J.C., Contador, J.L. and Satyro, W.C. (2023), "CAC-Redes: a new and quali-quantitative model to increase the competitiveness of companies operating in business networks", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-03-2022-0204
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