Argues that the failure of synergy stemmed from the inability of companies to understand and implement it, in the 1960s and 1970s. Contends there are valuable competitive advantages for firms that can identify and exploit specific relationships — distinctively for related businesses or divisions. Concludes that competitive advantage resulting from a synergy will only be sustainable if competitors have difficulty either in imitating the relationship underlying the synergy or finding some other way of achieving cost or differentiation improvement.
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