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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2008

Tim O'Shannassy

Competitive advantage is an important construct in the strategy discipline. The purpose of this paper is to explore an appropriate definition of competitive advantage, seek to…

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Abstract

Purpose

Competitive advantage is an important construct in the strategy discipline. The purpose of this paper is to explore an appropriate definition of competitive advantage, seek to identify sources of competitive advantage for firms and improve understanding of why in many industries for many firms competitive advantage is only a temporary outcome due to the influence of environmental uncertainty.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper undertakes a synthesis of classic and contemporary insights into competitive advantage in the literature to assist the development of several research propositions.

Findings

By introducing the perceived environmental uncertainty construct to discussion on the relationship between firm resources, competitive advantage and organization performance, understanding of sustained competitive advantage and temporary competitive advantage is enhanced.

Research limitations/implications

Through the development of the research propositions the paper helps to clarify terminology and provide several suggestions for future research.

Practical implications

The findings contribute to the evolution of strategic management practice by giving some insight to practitioners as to when and where firm resources may be useful by explaining these links between environmental uncertainty, firm resources, competitive advantage, and organization performance. A brief illustration of these connections in the context of BHP Billiton Limited is provided to link theory to practice.

Originality/value

Competitive advantage remains a poorly understood construct in the strategy literature and the subject of much discussion. This paper sets out to clarify understanding and stimulate debate in an area that is not well understood.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 6 October 2017

Abstract

Details

Ethics in the Global South
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-205-5

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 4 December 2020

Abstract

Details

Educating for Ethical Survival
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-253-6

Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2015

Abstract

Details

The Ethical Contribution of Organizations to Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-446-1

Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2015

Abstract

Details

The Ethical Contribution of Organizations to Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-446-1

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2015

Abstract

Details

The Ethical Contribution of Organizations to Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-446-1

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