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Article
Publication date: 19 February 2018

Christos Sigalas and Vassilis M. Papadakis

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the relationship patterns between competitive advantage and superior performance.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the relationship patterns between competitive advantage and superior performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study empirically investigates the aforementioned relationship patterns using a cross-sectional, self-administered survey methodology.

Findings

The results indicate that there are four relationship patterns between competitive advantage and superior performance. In addition, this study provides empirical evidence of the reasons, underpinning the relationship pattern of competitive advantage without superior performance as well as the relationship pattern of superior performance without competitive advantage.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to our knowledge that competitive advantage is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for superior performance.

Practical implications

In finding support that there can be cases of underperformance despite competitive advantage and superior performance despite the absence of competitive advantage, the study’s findings are useful to practicing managers involved in the strategic management process of their firms.

Originality/value

This study fills an important gap in the empirical research, by responding to the literature call to test the possible relationship patterns between competitive advantage and superior performance. In addition, this study formally introduces the relationship pattern of competitive advantage without superior performance, and the relationship pattern of superior performance without competitive advantage that until now were largely ignored by the existing literature in the field of strategic management.

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2017

Bharat Arora and Zillur Rahman

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of superior IT capability on financial performance of firms in the chemicals and chemical products industry in India.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of superior IT capability on financial performance of firms in the chemicals and chemical products industry in India.

Design/methodology/approach

Financial performance of 28 firms with superior IT capability has been compared with benchmark over a period of six years.

Findings

This research has five important findings for the chemicals and chemical products industry in India: there is positive association between superior IT capability and return on sales (ROS); firms with superior IT capability are able to earn higher margins on their products; asset turn of firms with superior IT capability is less than benchmark; capital markets give higher valuation to firms with superior IT capability; and this superior performance in terms of better ROS and higher capital market valuation is sustainable over a period of time.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical study that has analysed the influence of IT capability on financial performance of firms in a specific industry in the context of India.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Christos Sigalas and Victoria Pekka Economou

Although competitive advantage is the cornerstone concept in strategic management it still remains a poorly defined and operationalized construct. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Although competitive advantage is the cornerstone concept in strategic management it still remains a poorly defined and operationalized construct. The purpose of this paper is to revisit the concept of competitive advantage, to identify the problems that stem from its current conceptualization from the majority of the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper undertakes an extensive literature review, audit of logical inference, syllogistic reasoning and Bayesian expressions in order to examine the problems associated with the current conceptualizations of competitive advantage.

Findings

Several drawbacks and fallacies relating to current conceptualizations of competitive advantage were identified that create an urgent need for a more robust definition which could better serve the needs of both empirical research and management practice.

Research limitations/implications

The authors by no means claim that the literature review undertaken in this paper on the concept of competitive advantage and on the problems derived from its conceptualization was exhaustive or absolute. Rather, this paper constitutes an attempt to stimulate efforts and provide directions on the further conceptual development of competitive advantage.

Practical implications

The findings allow practising managers to not necessarily associate competitive advantage with its sources and with the determinants of superior performance.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to the evolution of the strategic management field by identifying, categorizing and mapping potential problems, drawbacks and fallacies, associated with the conceptualization of competitive advantage as currently delineated in the literature, and by suggesting some criteria for the development of a conceptually more robust definition.

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

Hao Ma

Competitive advantage is perhaps the most widely used term in strategic management, yet it remains poorly defined and operationalized. This paper makes three observations…

Abstract

Competitive advantage is perhaps the most widely used term in strategic management, yet it remains poorly defined and operationalized. This paper makes three observations regarding competitive advantage and conceptually explores the various patterns of relationship between competitive advantage and firm performance. First, competitive advantage does not equate to superior performance. Second, competitive advantage is a relational term. Third, it is context‐specific. This paper examines three patterns of relationship between competitive advantage and firm performance: 1) competitive advantage leading to superior performance; 2) competitive advantage without superior performance, and 3) superior performance without competitive advantage. The ultimate purpose of this article is to help generate a healthy debate among strategy scholars on the usefulness of the competitive advantage construct for our theory building and testing. This paper proposes that we re‐examine the notion of competitive advantage and formally assess its usefulness for theory building and testing in the field of Strategic Management. The notion of competitive advantage has been a cornerstone of our field. As such, research on competitive advantage occupies a central position in strategy literature (e.g., Porter, 1980, 1985; Rumelt, 1984, 1987; Barney, 1986, 1991; Ghemawat, 1986, 1991; Peteraf, 1993; Teece, Pisano, & Shuen, 1997). However, the notion of competitive advantage itself has rarely been systematically addressed and, to date, remains poorly defined and operationalized. Is competitive advantage what it takes to compete, a characterization observed during competition, or an outcome of competition? Is competitive advantage contingent on the competitive situation or is it a more general trait of the firm? Put differently, how is competitive advantage different from competence, strengths and, ultimately, performance? This article, addressing the above questions, makes three observations regarding competitive advantage. First, competitive advantage does not equate to (superior) performance. Second, competitive advantage is a relational construct. Third, competitive advantage is context‐specific. In presenting these three observations, this article proposes suggestions to refine and operationalize “competitive advantage.” It then conceptually explores the relationship between competitive advantage and performance, which is argued to be much more complex than it is currently being treated in the literature. Concluding remarks follow.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2007

Richard D. Goffin and David W. Anderson

The purpose of this paper is to examine relationships between a priori‐chosen personality traits and the tendency for a manager to rate his/her job performance more…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine relationships between a priori‐chosen personality traits and the tendency for a manager to rate his/her job performance more favourably than well‐acquainted superiors, peers, and subordinates do.

Design/methodology/approach

The job performance of 204 managers was evaluated using multi‐source (i.e. 360E) ratings (self, subordinates, peers, and superiors). Managers also completed personality measures. Relationships between managers' personality and the tendency for managers to rate their own job performance higher than subordinates, peers, and superiors did were analyzed using advanced regression techniques.

Findings

The paper finds that self‐superior and self‐peer disagreement in performance ratings (i.e. self‐rating inflation) was associated with high Achievement and high Self‐Esteem. Additionally, self‐superior disagreement (i.e. self‐rating deflation) was associated with high Anxiety. Self‐subordinate disagreement was not associated with self‐rater personality.

Research limitations/implications

The paper studied a single sample of financial services managers. Generalization requires cross‐validation with other occupational groups and organizations.

Practical implications

Human resources professionals should be informed that self‐superior and self‐peer disagreement (i.e. self‐rating inflation) in multi‐source job performance ratings is potentially beneficial because it is associated with personality traits that can facilitate positive responses to feedback. Peers and superiors should therefore not inflate their ratings of managers in an effort to reduce self‐superior and self‐peer disagreement in ratings.

Originality/value

This study improved upon most previous investigations of this topic by using a field setting, considering a wider range of personality variables, using 360( job performance ratings (self‐, supervisor‐, peer‐, and subordinate‐ratings) rather than just a subset of these rating sources, and employing superior statistical procedures.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Dean Porr and Dail Fields

To determine the effect that implicit leadership theories have on the relevance of 360‐degree review techniques used to assess managerial behavior.

Abstract

Purpose

To determine the effect that implicit leadership theories have on the relevance of 360‐degree review techniques used to assess managerial behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

The relationships of subordinate, superior and self ratings of manager leader behaviors with three performance indicators were examined in 60 retail stores located in the USA.

Findings

Nearly, all of the subordinate ratings of manager behaviors were significantly related to performance of internal processes, while nearly all ratings of the same manager provided by superiors were related to performance in store merchandizing.

Research limitations/implications

The performance indicators were derived from company records, independent of influence from the rater groups.

Practical implications

Multi‐source ratings of managerial behaviors may be based on overall work unit performance rather than observation and should be assessed and interpreted cautiously in providing feedback for management development.

Originality/value

The ratings of managerial behaviors may reflect implicit leadership models activated by observation of store performance rather than rater observations of the manager's behaviors.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2020

Shuangfa Huang, David Pickernell, Martina Battisti, Danny Soetanto and Qihai Huang

Entrepreneurial orientation (EO) is an exploratory orientation because its dimensions such as innovativeness, proactiveness and risk-taking are the essence of exploration…

Abstract

Purpose

Entrepreneurial orientation (EO) is an exploratory orientation because its dimensions such as innovativeness, proactiveness and risk-taking are the essence of exploration that entails uncertain returns. While literature suggests firms might need to counterbalance and complement EO with another orientation for organisational success, research on this area remains limited. Drawing on organisational learning theory, the purpose of this article is to explore whether and how the EO dimensions and organisational ambidexterity complement each other to enhance new product performance. More specifically, the authors explore the configurations of innovativeness, proactiveness, risk-taking and ambidexterity for superior new product performance under different levels of market turbulence.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a configurational perspective, the authors applied fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) on a sample of 88 small and medium-sized firms from the UK. Using fsQCA allows the authors to uncover the potential complementary role between the EO dimensions and ambidexterity for superior new product performance.

Findings

The results of this paper reveal three configurations that are sufficient to produce superior new product performance. The results suggest that the EO dimensions and ambidexterity can complement each other to enhance new product performance. Further, under the turbulent market environment, the EO dimensions are also sufficient to produce superior new product performance.

Originality/value

By adopting a configurational perspective using fsQCA, the study provides a more holistic understanding of how the EO dimensions work together to influence new product performance. It also contributes to the literature by uncovering the complementary role of the EO dimensions and ambidexterity in shaping new product performance.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1993

Bruce Gunn

The transition to the information age is shifting thedecision‐making authority structure in organizations from politicalsystems and subjective appraisals to management…

Abstract

The transition to the information age is shifting the decision‐making authority structure in organizations from political systems and subjective appraisals to management systems and objective personnel evaluations. The critical need to adopt the management system and objective evaluation procedures is based on the truism that timely, relevant, accurate feedback is a primary motivator of people.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2005

Mei‐I. Cheng, Andrew R.J. Dainty and David R. Moore

To report on the development of a new, more balanced approach to managing the performance of key employees in project‐based organizations.

Abstract

Purpose

To report on the development of a new, more balanced approach to managing the performance of key employees in project‐based organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Following the establishment of the role‐based criteria for performance excellence through focus groups and subsequent factor analysis, performance profiles of a range of superior and average performing managers were compiled. These were based on behavioural event interviews (BEIs) from which job, person and role‐based aspects were derived. The final performance model was validated through assessments with an expert panel of HRM specialists.

Findings

This research has developed and demonstrated the potential of a more holistic approach to managing performance which includes reference to the job requirements, personal behaviours and the role context. It was found to be particularly suitable to measuring managers' performance in dynamic team‐based environments.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical work upon which the new performance framework is based was derived from a limited study within two construction organizations. Future work will explore the applicability of the approach within other organizations and industries.

Practical implications

Applying this framework to key HRM activities has the potential to improve the ways in which companies manage, develop and retain their key managerial resources. Notably, they should be able to engender a more participative, developmental approach to the HRM function, thereby helping to ensure sustained performance improvements in the future and improved resource usage effectiveness.

Originality/value

The paper presents the basis for a completely new performance management paradigm which embeds managerial competence/competency in a way which more accurately reflects the realities of managerial practice.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2010

Nattuvathuckal Barnabas and Nandakumar Mekoth

This paper aims to find out whether superior autonomy at boundary spanning levels in service organizations results in better market orientation and performance and whether…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to find out whether superior autonomy at boundary spanning levels in service organizations results in better market orientation and performance and whether autonomy and decentralization, though conceptually different, have similar practical implications. Researchers developed a theoretical model and tested it in the post‐liberalized Indian retail banking context to address these concerns.

Design/methodology/approach

Bank branches constituted the unit of analysis. Further to getting initial insights on market orientation in retail banking through interviews researchers conducted a survey among branch managers. A total of 305 branch managers were contacted of which 122 cooperated.

Findings

Regression results suggest that superior personnel related and goal setting autonomy at boundary spanning levels have positive market orientation as well as performance implications. Marketing autonomy did not have significant impact on market orientation. Autonomy and decentralization though conceptually different displayed similar implications on market orientation and performance. Formalization while negatively impacting market orientation did not directly impact performance.

Practical implications

As firm performance is dependent on subunit performance, managers should naturally be interested in factors that enhance performance at subunit level. Current research finds evidence for superior personnel and goal setting autonomy as well as less rigid rules facilitating market orientation and performance at the subunit level.

Originality/value

This is the first effort to study market orientation at the boundary spanning levels in service organizations. Besides providing evidences from the Indian retail banking context about the impact of autonomy on market orientation and performance the paper also presents primary evidence for clarifying the similarities and differences between autonomy and decentralization.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

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