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Management Strategy Perspectives and Paradoxes - Essay Example

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This paper demonstrates an insightful study into the concept of competitive advantage for the success of an organisation in today's competitive environment. The contemporary business environment is marked with rapid transformation in terms of opportunities and threats…
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Management Strategy Perspectives and Paradoxes
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Download file to see previous pages In such environ, it is important for an organisation to find a 'differential aspect' of its product or service in order to survive the market competencies, otherwise the organisation will be driven out of the business ruthlessly.
"Having a competitive advantage is like having a gun in knife fight". The paper explores this statement and illustrates the key factors through which a firm can attain this competitive gun while all the competitors remain fighting with their competitive knives. It goes for a gross understanding of the term 'competitive advantage', realising how it can be interpreted as 'a gun in the knife fight', plus analysing and examining a bunch of important issues underlying this concept.
The focus of this paper remains to be the factors that need to be addressed by an organisation in its quest to dig out a competitive advantage to create and maintain its position in the market that is unbeatable for its competitors in a specific point in time. There happen to be several areas where a firm can manage to obtain a competitive advantage against its competitors. These areas are discussed in this paper with the help of the literature available on the given subject.
"Having a competitive advantage is like having a gun in a knife fight". Consider a fight in which everybody has got a knife as weapon and using it in all ways to win the battle. During this fight, one of the fighters manages to acquire a gun. A gun in a knife fight implies having a weapon or an advantage through which any battle or competition could be won in way that nobody else could be able to claim victory for a long time. In the context of businesses, this statement entails having a competitive advantage or that aspect of an organisation, which can be utilised to fight the battle of competition and gain a superior weapon over other competitors. An exploration of this statement first of all lies in a profound understanding of the term competitive advantage and the necessary issues associated with it. The statement will be explored further in the paper after an illustration of what actually is meant by the term 'competitive advantage'.

A competitive advantage is simply an aspect of the organisation that it possesses or offers to the customers. In order for an organisational aspect to constitute as a 'competitive advantage', it has to be unique in the market not adopted by any other current or potential firm in the market. This phenomenon can also be understood in the words of Barney (1991, p102) as, "a firm is said to have competitive advantage when it is implementing a value creating strategy not simultaneously being implemented by any current or potential competitors". This value strategy can be in any form, as long as it is providing benefit to the customers and the organisation directly or indirectly. For instance, if a firm manages to produce its products at a lower cost than all other firms in the market, it is a direct benefit to the customer in the form of reduced prices and an indirect benefit to the organisation in the shape of enhanced sales. This can only become possible when the firm has identified unique ways to lower the product costs, either unknown or inapplicable to other firms.

Porter (1985, p3) illustrates the conception of competitive advantage as the ability of a firm to create value for its customers in a way that proposes more benefit ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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