A hybrid model of competitive capabilities
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Operations & Production Management, ISSN 0144-3577, Vol. 31, no 5, 511-526 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present and test a new model for competitive capabilities.Traditionally, a cumulative model has been viewed as having one sequence of building competitivecapabilities in a firm in support of market needs, including quality, delivery, cost efficiency andflexibility. Although appealing as a conceptual model, empirical testing has not been able to fullysupport the cumulative model. This paper acknowledges the need for a hybrid approach to managingcapability progression. It brings together the literature on trade-offs, cumulative capabilities, andorder winners and qualifiers.Design/methodology/approach – A new hybrid approach for modelling competitive capabilities istested empirically using data from the high performance manufacturing (HPM) study, round 3,including three industries and seven countries – a total of 211 plants.Findings – The hybrid model shows significantly better fit with the data from the sample than thecumulative models suggested by previous literature. Empirical support is found for the traditionalperception that a high level of quality is a prerequisite for a high level of delivery performance.However, cost efficiency and flexibility do not exhibit a cumulative pattern. Instead, the results showthat they are developed in parallel. The findings suggest that a balance between cost efficiency andflexibility is built upon high levels of quality and delivery performance.Research limitations/implications – Since we limit the empirical investigation to three industriesand seven countries, it would be interesting to extend the testing of this model to more industries andcountries. This research shows that combining perspectives and insights from different researchstreams – in this case, trade-off theory and the concepts of cumulative capabilities, and order winnersand qualifiers – can be fruitful.Practical implications – The results of this paper provides managers with guidelines concerningthe configuration of competitive capabilities. First, a qualifying level of quality needs to be attained,followed by a qualifying level of delivery. Then, a balance between potential order winners, i.e. costefficiency and flexibility, needs to be attained.Originality/value – This paper presents a new approach to modelling competitive capabilities thatsynthesises previous research streams and perspectives from cumulative capabilities, contestingcapabilities (trade-offs), and order winners and qualifiers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald , 2011. Vol. 31, no 5, 511-526 p.
competitive advantage, industrial performance
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67908DOI: 10.1108/01443571111126300OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-67908DiVA: diva2:414206