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Book part
Publication date: 2 April 2008

Graham Hubbard

This paper explains how a variety of business units within a listed corporation have tried to define their strategic capabilities, as part of a process of developing…

Abstract

This paper explains how a variety of business units within a listed corporation have tried to define their strategic capabilities, as part of a process of developing independent business strategies within the corporation's corporate strategy. This paper describes the processes by which strategic capabilities were identified in each unit, the differences and similarities between the capabilities identified at the business unit level, and their consistency (or otherwise) with an overall corporate strategic positioning.

This paper is based on the author's consulting experience with both the parent corporation and its individual business units over a period of 15 years, and most recently on an intensive relationship with one division of the corporation and its 13 business units began three years ago. An objective of these relationships has been clarifying each business unit's strategy and any basis for sustainable competitive advantage of its strategic capabilities. What emerged from this process is a set of definitions of business unit strategic capabilities which are both similar to, but in some cases different from, the corporate parent's perceptions of the strategic capabilities of its business units.

This paper describes the process by which a first representation of “strategic capabilities” emerged in each business unit. For each unit, the agreed descriptions of strategic capabilities helped guide strategic decision making and implementation and assisted each unit in clarifying its strategic positioning in its markets. However, considerable differences remain in the articulation of each unit's capabilities and in what capabilities are considered to exist in the business units.

This paper is designed to give practitioners and academics a case study through which to consider practicalities involved in articulating and operationalizing strategic capabilities in general and in defining corporate strategies in particular.

Details

Competence Building and Leveraging in Interorganizational Relations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-521-5

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Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2017

François L’Écuyer and Louis Raymond

This study aims to explore the relationship between IT and HRM in the context of manufacturing SMEs, more specifically the relationship between strategic HRM and e-HRM as…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the relationship between IT and HRM in the context of manufacturing SMEs, more specifically the relationship between strategic HRM and e-HRM as well as the performance effects of this relationship. The conceptual framework is founded upon the resource-based view (RBV), specifically upon the strategic HRM and e-HRM capabilities of SMEs and upon the strategic alignment of these capabilities in the form of capability configurations or “gestalts.”

Methodology/approach

To answer the research questions, a questionnaire was constructed and mailed to 1854 manufacturing SMEs in the province of Quebec, Canada, producing 216 valid responses that were used for statistical analysis purposes. Capability configurations were identified through a cluster analysis of the e-HRM and strategic HRM capabilities developed by these firms.

Findings

Using structural equation modeling to validate the research model, a causal analysis confirmed a positive influence of the sampled SMEs’ strategic orientation upon their development of strategic HRM capabilities. More importantly, a higher level of alignment between the SMEs’ strategic HRM and e-HRM capabilities was associated to a higher level of strategic HRM performance.

Originality/value

To our knowledge, ours is the first study to show interest in the effect of the strategic alignment of HRM and IT capabilities upon HRM performance, by adopting a configurational perspective and considering organizational IT from a functional point of view. Given the specific context of SMEs, the focus was on e-HRM capabilities related to the IT infrastructure of these organizations and the IT competencies of individuals related to HRM.

Details

Electronic HRM in the Smart Era
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-315-9

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2020

Jorge Ferreira, Arnaldo Coelho and Luiz Moutinho

This study delves in the controversy about the nature and the sign of the effect of strategic alliances and exploration and exploitation capabilities on innovation and new…

Abstract

Purpose

This study delves in the controversy about the nature and the sign of the effect of strategic alliances and exploration and exploitation capabilities on innovation and new product development. The paper analyses the effects of knowledge sharing and strategic alliances relationships at the firm level. Specifically, we study the influence of strategic alliances relationships in new product development and the mediating role of exploration and exploitation as dynamic capabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

This investigation proposes a theoretical model tested using structural equation modeling (SEM). The multigroup analysis was performed to understand the moderating role of. A questionnaire survey was developed to explore the relations between strategic alliances and innovation and new product development variables. For this study, 387 valid questionnaires were collected from a sample of Portugal SME' firms. A 90-item questionnaire was submitted to employees managers of a large number of Portuguese SMEs, which consists to study the relationships among all the variables.

Findings

The results show that exists a positive direct influence of strategic alliances on innovation and new product development, and mediating impact the exploration and exploitation by the moderating role of knowledge sharing.

Research limitations/implications

This study has some methodological limitations affecting its potential contributions. A cross-sectional study that captures one image in time and its ability to identify strict causality between variables is limited. Furthermore, the results are based on log collected from a key respondent, rather than broader actual data. The results are restricted to one country, Portugal. Future research should initially target different countries. Such research could then test the generalizability of the results.

Practical implications

To fill this managerial relevance gap, we propose a process model in which the main antecedents of alliance stability will be examined. We argue that an alliance's evolutionary dynamics depend on these factors and variables that the partners must assess and manage over its developmental stages. In this sense, managers have significant scope to influence the ultimate success of strategic alliances. This study highlights the need to actively manage the cooperation – competition (coopetition) tension with the alliance partner and to apply the knowledge acquired from the partner to create new knowledge to enhance innovative performance

Originality/value

This paper contributes to fill the gap between strategic alliances and new product development mediated by exploration and exploitation in the dynamic capabilities view.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 59 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Tuomas Huikkola and Marko Kohtamäki

Drawing on the resource-based view of the firm, this study aims to analyze solution providers’ strategic capabilities that facilitate above-average returns.

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2254

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the resource-based view of the firm, this study aims to analyze solution providers’ strategic capabilities that facilitate above-average returns.

Design/methodology/approach

The study applies a qualitative comparative case method. In addition to an extensive set of secondary data, the results are based on interviews with 35 executives from nine leading industrial solution providers, their strategic customers and suppliers. The analyzed solution providers were identified based on quantitative survey data.

Findings

By observing six distinctive resources and three strategic business processes, the present study identifies seven strategic capabilities that occur in different phases of solution development and deployment: fleet management capability, technology-development capability, mergers and acquisitions capability, value quantifying capability, project management capability, supplier network management capability and value co-creation capability.

Research limitations/implications

The study develops a generic model for the strategic capabilities of servitization. Application of the developed model to different contexts would further validate and enhance it.

Practical implications

Managers can use the developed model to benchmark, identify, build and manage solution providers’ strategic capabilities and associated practices.

Originality/value

The study develops a valuable conceptual model based on the comparative case data. Case firms were selected for the study based on a representative quantitative data set. The results were verified and triangulated with external data.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2018

Prodromos Chatzoglou, Dimitrios Chatzoudes, Lazaros Sarigiannidis and Georgios Theriou

This paper aims to attempt to bring together various organisational aspects that have never been collectively investigated before in the strategic management literature…

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6831

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to attempt to bring together various organisational aspects that have never been collectively investigated before in the strategic management literature. Its main objective is to examine the relationship between “strategic orientation” and “firm performance”, in the light of two firm-specific factors (“distinct manufacturing capabilities” and “organisational structure”). The proposed research model of the present study is built upon the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm and the organisational aspect of the VRIO framework (the “O” from the VRIO model).

Design/methodology/approach

The study proposes a newly developed research model that adopts a four-factor approach, while examining a number of direct and indirect effects. The examination of the proposed research model was made with the use of a newly developed structured questionnaire that was distributed on a sample of Greek manufacturing companies. Research hypotheses were tested using the structural equation modelling technique. The present study is explanatory (examines cause and effect relationships), deductive (tests research hypotheses), empirical (collects primary data) and quantitative (analyses quantitative data that were collected using a structured questionnaire).

Findings

The empirical results suggest the coexistence of three distinct categories of effects on “firm performance”: strategy or “utility” effects, depending on the content of the implemented strategy; firm-specific effects, depending on the content of the organisational resources and capabilities; and organisational effects, depending on the implemented organisational structure. More specifically, the statistical analysis underlines the significant mediating role of “strategic orientation” and the complementary role of “organisational structure”. Finally, empirical results support the argument that “strategy follows structure”.

Research limitations/implications

The use of self-reported scales constitutes an inherent methodological limitation. Moreover, the present study lacks a longitudinal approach because it provides a static picture of the subject under consideration. Finally, the sample size of 130 manufacturing companies could raise some concerns. Despite that, previous empirical studies of the same field, published in respectable journals, were also based on similar samples.

Practical implications

When examining the total (direct and indirect) effects on “firm performance”, it seems that the effect of “organisational structure” is, almost, identical to the effect of “distinct manufacturing capabilities”. This implies that “organisational structure” (an imitable capability) has, almost, the same contribution on “firm performance” as the manufacturing capabilities of the organisation (an inimitable capability). Thus, the practical significance of “organisational structure” is being highlighted.

Originality/value

There has been little empirical research concerning the bundle of firm-specific factors that enhance the impact of strategy on business performance. Under the context of the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm, the present study examines the impact of “organisational structure” on the “strategy-capabilities-performance” relationship, something that has not been thoroughly investigated in the strategic management literature. Also, the present study proposes an alternate measure for capturing the concept of business strategy, the so-called factor of “strategic orientation”. Finally, the study adopts a “reversed view” in the relationship between structure and strategy. More specifically, it postulates that “strategy follows structure” and not the opposite (“structure follows strategy”). Actually, the empirical data supported that (reversed) view, challenging the traditional approach of Chandler (1962) and calling for additional research on that ongoing dispute.

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

John A Parnell, Zhang Long and Don Lester

The purpose of this paper is to investigate linkages among competitive strategy, strategic capabilities, environmental uncertainty, and organizational performance in small…

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4668

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate linkages among competitive strategy, strategic capabilities, environmental uncertainty, and organizational performance in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in China and the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

In China, a survey was administered to managers of SMEs in Shanghai and Guangzhou. In the USA, a survey was administered to managers of SMEs in three major cities. Competitive strategy, capabilities, uncertainty, and performance were measured by previously validated scales.

Findings

Findings support the integrity Miles and Snow generic strategic typology. Performance satisfaction was significantly lower in firms employing a reactor strategy as opposed to those employing prospector, defender, or analyzer strategies. Additional support was found for the concept of strategic clarity, as businesses reporting moderate strategic clarity had lower levels of satisfaction with performance than those reporting either a single strategy or a combination emphasis on three equal strategies.

Practical implications

Chinese SMEs tend to prefer cost-based approaches to their local markets. A differentiation market approach is challenging in most local Chinese economies due to the low wages of most jobs in an economy that is still largely centrally planned. In the USA, more disposable income leads to more market opportunities. While this situation is gradually changing in China, it is not at a point where SMEs feel comfortable pursuing totally differentiated strategies.

Originality/value

Several distinctions in competitive strategy, capabilities, and environmental uncertainty between China and the USA are recognized by analysis. Analyzers and defenders in Chinese SMEs tend to follow industry prospectors with lower prices and/or superior service. They might change strategies after gaining a foothold in the market. Performance for SMEs with low strategic clarity often depends on established guanxi with governmental agencies or stated-owned enterprises, a situation very different from that in the USA.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 53 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Maree Storer, Paul Hyland, Mario Ferrer, Ricardo Santa and Andrew Griffiths

The purpose of this paper is to examine empirically, an industry development paradox, using embryonic literature in the area of strategic supply chain management, together…

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2901

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine empirically, an industry development paradox, using embryonic literature in the area of strategic supply chain management, together with innovation management literature. This study seeks to understand how, forming strategic supply chain relationships, and developing strategic supply chain capability, influences beneficial supply chain outcomes expected from utilizing industry-led innovation, in the form of electronic business solutions using the internet, in the Australian beef industry. Findings should add valuable insights to both academics and practitioners in the fields of supply chain innovation management and strategic supply chain management, and expand knowledge to current literature.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a quantitative study comparing innovative and non-innovative supply chain operatives in the Australian beef industry, through factor analysis and structural equation modeling using PAWS Statistical V18 and AMOS V18 to analyze survey data from 412 respondents from the Australian beef supply chain.

Findings

Key findings are that both innovative and non-innovative supply chain operators attribute supply chain synchronization as only a minor indicator of strategic supply chain capability, contrary to the literature; and they also indicate strategic supply chain capability has a minor influence in achieving beneficial outcomes from utilizing industry-led innovation. These results suggest a lack of coordination between supply chain operatives in the industry. They also suggest a lack of understanding of the benefits of developing a strategic supply chain management competence, particularly in relation to innovation agendas, and provides valuable insights as to why an industry paradox exists in terms of the level of investment in industry-led innovation, vs the level of corresponding benefit achieved.

Research limitations/implications

Results are not generalized due to the single agribusiness industry studied and the single research method employed. However, this provides opportunity for further agribusiness studies in this area and also studies using alternate methods, such as qualitative, in-depth analysis of these factors and their relationships, which may confirm results or produce different results. Further, this study empirically extends existing theoretical contributions and insights into the roles of strategic supply chain management and innovation management in improving supply chain and ultimately industry performance while providing practical insights to supply chain practitioners in this and other similar agribusiness industries.

Practical implications

These findings confirm results from a 2007 research (Ketchen et al., 2007) which suggests supply chain practice and teachings need to take a strategic direction in the twenty-first century. To date, competence in supply chain management has built up from functional and process orientations rather than from a strategic perspective. This study confirms that there is a need for more generalists that can integrate with various disciplines, particularly those who can understand and implement strategic supply chain management.

Social implications

Possible social implications accrue through the development of responsible government policy in terms of industry supply chains. Strategic supply chain management and supply chain innovation management have impacts to the social fabric of nations through the sustainability of their industries, especially agribusiness industries which deal with food safety and security. If supply chains are now the competitive weapon of nations then funding innovation and managing their supply chain competitiveness in global markets requires a strategic approach from everyone, not just the industry participants.

Originality/value

This is original empirical research, seeking to add value to embryonic and important developing literature concerned with adopting a strategic approach to supply chain management. It also seeks to add to existing literature in the area of innovation management, particularly through greater understanding of the implications of nations developing industry-wide, industry-led innovation agendas, and their ramifications to industry supply chains.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2018

John A. Parnell

Amidst rapid development in emerging economies, greater emphasis on public–private partnerships and a more complex regulatory environment, nonmarket strategy (NMS) is now…

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1087

Abstract

Purpose

Amidst rapid development in emerging economies, greater emphasis on public–private partnerships and a more complex regulatory environment, nonmarket strategy (NMS) is now widely viewed as a key component of a firm’s overall strategy. This paper aims to investigate how nonmarket and market strategies are influenced by strategic uncertainties and capabilities and ultimately drive firm performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey addressing strategic uncertainties, capabilities, NMS and market strategy and firm performance was administered online to 193 practicing managers in the USA. Measures for competitive strategy (i.e. cost leadership and differentiation), NMS, management and marketing capabilities, competitive and technology uncertainties and firm performance were adopted from or based on previous work. Hypotheses were tested via SmartPLS.

Findings

Emphasis on NMS was linked to high marketing capability, high competitive uncertainty and high technology uncertainty. Cost leaders were more likely than differentiators to emphasize on NMS, although all three strategies were positive drivers of performance. NMS appears to be viewed as a part of an integrated strategic approach by managers in many organizations.

Research limitations/implications

The sample included mangers in multiple industries. Self-typing scales were used to assess strategic emphasis and firm performance.

Practical implications

Emphasis on NMS can promote firm performance, but the relationship is complex. Strategic managers should align the NMS with organizational capabilities and a market-oriented strategy appropriate for the firm.

Originality/value

This paper provides empirical support for a model linking select strategic uncertainties, capabilities, market strategy and NMS and firm performance. It supports NMS as a key performance driver, but with links to uncertainties and capabilities that differ from those of market strategies.

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2013

Yung‐Chang Hsiao and Chung‐Jen Chen

This study attempts to investigate the relationships among organizational capabilities, strategic choice, and firm performance and examine three questions: What are the…

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2181

Abstract

Purpose

This study attempts to investigate the relationships among organizational capabilities, strategic choice, and firm performance and examine three questions: What are the relationships between organizational capabilities and the firm's strategic choice – contract manufacturing and branding? Do branding firms perform better than contract manufacturing firms after controlling for endogeneity bias? Do firms usually choose their strategy (contract manufacturing/branding) appropriately to achieve a better performance under the conditions they encounter?

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical study employs a questionnaire approach to collect data from the population of the top 5,000 Taiwanese firms listed in the yearbook published by the China Credit Information Service Incorporation for testing the validity of the model and research hypotheses. This study uses a Heckman two‐step estimation procedure and follows the procedure proposed by Shaver to examine the economic implications of strategic choice on firm performance.

Findings

Firms are more likely to adopt the branding strategy when they have better marketing and R&D capabilities while they are more likely to choose the contract manufacturing strategy when they possess superior manufacturing and process capabilities; in general branding firms perform better than contract manufacturing firms after controlling for endogeneity bias; and firms achieve a better performance if their strategic choice (contract manufacturing/branding) fits the conditions they encounter.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to the marketing literature by exploring an important issue of strategic choice (contract manufacturing or branding) and contributes to the strategy literature by proposing the endogenous role of strategic choice in the relationship between organizational capabilities and firm performance.

Practical implications

Firms should take into account organizational capabilities when choosing a contract manufacturing strategy or branding strategy. Further, managers should not ignore matching their strategic choice (contract manufacturing/branding) with the conditions they encounter in order to optimize firm performance.

Originality/value

The strategic choice of branding or contract manufacturing is a prevalent phenomenon that has received little attention in the strategy and marketing literature. Based on the competence‐based perspective, this study examines the relationships among organizational capabilities, strategic choice, and firm performance.

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Alan Simon, Chloe Bartle, Gary Stockport, Brett Smith, Jane E. Klobas and Amrik Sohal

The purpose of this paper is to report on research that identifies the relationships that senior managers believe exist between capabilities and business success. In doing…

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3033

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on research that identifies the relationships that senior managers believe exist between capabilities and business success. In doing so, it addresses the need for more empirical research about the role of strategic and dynamic capabilities in organisational performance. It also highlights the critical strategic and dynamic capabilities that are most valuable for practising managers.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-method study was conducted. Eight types of strategic capability and ten types of dynamic capability commonly found in organisations were identified through consecutive literature review, web site content analysis and interviews with senior executives. A questionnaire survey was then used to ask senior officers of publicly listed Australian firms about the importance of each capability and financial and non-financial performance indicators. The relationship between capabilities and performance was measured by regression modelling.

Findings

Good leadership with an innovative vision and selection and retention of good staff and developing their skills and capabilities were the stand out strategic capabilities. Strategic thinking about the big picture and the long-term and flexible leaders who can lead and manage adaptation to change were considered to be the most important dynamic capabilities. Strategic capabilities were more often associated with indicators of financial success, and dynamic capabilities were more often associated with non-financial measures of organisational performance.

Originality/value

This is the first study to make a distinction between strategic and dynamic capabilities in examining the relationship between capabilities and business success. The results demonstrate that the distinction has both theoretical and practical value.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 64 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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