Sustainable Competitive Advantage Of A Business

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This article highlights the concept of strategy and other crucial factors for a sustainable competitive advantage of a business without losing its (uniqueness) position in the market. Porter (1996) emphasizes that management tools such as benchmarking, outsourcing, partnering, and engineering have drastically taken the place of strategy. Due to the fact that management fails to distinguish between operational effectiveness and strategy, these management tools improve the operational effectiveness of a business without preserving its sustainable profitability. He states that operational effectiveness and strategy function in different ways, but they are both critical for high and superior performance that represent the ultimate goal for any …show more content…
The company that tries to do everything that competitors provide and satisfy the needs of everyone doesn’t have a strategy. To make a sustainable competitive advantage, the company has to combine activities that are consistent and interconnect so that each activity can reinforce and influence positively the other one. This kind of strategy is hard for competitors to copy because they have to imitate the whole system. This leads to a sustainable competitive advantage and strong position in the market. Strategy is not static; it evolves depending on the market changes. Therefore, managers needs to be flexible and adapt their strategy to the competitive environment. Porter (1996) states that “among all other influences, the desire to grow has perhaps the most perverse effect on strategy” (p.75). “The efforts to grow blur uniqueness, create compromises, reduce fit and undermine competitive advantage” (Porter, 1996, p.76-77). When a company decides to grow, it makes compromises by adding other activities that do not necessarily fit with the current activities within the company, so they do not match the strategy. Consequently, the strategy becomes vaster, but it also compromises the company’s uniqueness and competitive advantage. This creates homogeneity among companies (Porter, 1996). Therefore, the profitable way to grow is to deepen the strategy by making the company’s activities more distinctive, strengthening fit, and …show more content…
Using very good examples inspired from the everyday life to convince the audience about his point of view, Porter successfully explicites each concept. Porter uses for example some cases such as Ikea, Neutrogena, Vanguard, to demonstrate how making trade offs are essential for a sustainable strategic position. The article is not dated because some cases does apply to today’s workplace. However, I believe that there is no right and wrong or black and white though. The cases illustrated in the article cannot represent all cases in the world, they may vary by company, country, culture. They may apply in companies in a capitalist countries such as U.S but not in other different countries that have a different economic system where there is no hard competiton. Culture is another significant component that can influence largely the strategy of the company. An international business or a company that wants to expand and establish a franchise in china or India will need more than one strategy. The business need to study the culture, the values, the norms, religion of the country and tailor their products, services to this culture. Quality, service and location and other factors may matter more to other countries. For example, if Mc wants to have franchises in India, they have to change their strategy because the major part of indiens are

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