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Review the article: Daniela, P. A. (2014). Competitive advantage in the enterprise performance. Annals of the University of Oradea, Economic Science Series, 23(1), 524-531.Directions for obtaining the file: Access the Grantham University library by clicking on the Resources tab from the main page in GLife or from the Library Resource Center under My Organizations in Blackboard. You will then click on the EBSCOHost icon. Once you have accessed the database, simply copy and paste the title of the article and press enter to search and you should now have the file accessible to review.Through research from sources provided in the course and from academic and scholarly resources outside of the course, evaluate and discuss the following elements:Analyze two competitive advantage management strategies that are effective in creating an organizational advantage through elevating enterprise performanceDetermine strategies that will create effective leadership for an organization to gain and maintain a competitive advantage.Apply competitive advantage management strategies that will strengthen internal and external organizational relationships and create organizational growth to your organization (or a former one).The paper should contain the following APA formatted elements:Title Page.Abstract.Body of the essay (Your researched response).Conclusion.References Section.The requirements below must be met for your paper to be accepted and graded:Write a response between 750 – 1000 words for the body of the essay (The title page, abstract, conclusion and References section are not counted toward the word requirement.) (approximately 4-6 pages) using Microsoft Word in APA style.Address all three elements fully.Use font size 12 and 1” margins.Use at least three references from outside the course material (You may use the academic resources included in the Week 8 Bibliography.) one reference must be from EBSCOhost. The course textbook and lectures can be used, but are not counted toward the five reference requirement.References must come from sources such as, academic and scholarly journals and essays found in EBSCOhost, CNN, online newspapers such as, The Wall Street Journal, government websites, etc. Sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. are not acceptable for academic writing.Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased words, values, etc.) in the paper and list on a reference page in APA style. Provide citations everywhere information from the sources is used for foundational support and for validation of opinions.Use the third person narrative and avoid the use of the first and second person narrative and terms such as; I, me, myself, you, your, yourself, we or us (or related form such as let’s (let us) or we’ll, we’ve (we will / we have) among others). This will prevent the author or other parties from becoming the subject matter and will maintain the focus of the paper on the central theme and subject matter found in the elements.Be informational and avoid being conversational.

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Prunea Ana Daniela
Universitatea din Oradea, Facultatea de Stiinte Economice
[email protected]
Abstract: Rapid changes in market characteristics and the technological innovations are
common and faster challenges, resulting in products, processes and technologies. The
competitive advantage is volatile, difficult to obtain and more difficult to maintain and
strengthened with consumers who through their individual choices polarization confirms
the recognition performance and award competitive advantages, thus causing the
competitive ranking of companies present in a particular market. The competitive
advantage lies in the focus of the performance of companies in competitive markets and
innovation is a source for obtaining and consolidating it. Companies will need to
demonstrate the capacity to adapt to changes in the business environment so as to
maintain the helded positions. This paper treats this aspect behavior that companies
should adopt to get on the account of innovation a sustainable competitive advantage. I
started of the work in the elaboration from the theory of developed by Michael Porter in
his book “Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance” we
applied methods listed thus trying to point out possible ways of creating competitive
advantage by companies. We have presented the sources of competitive advantage and
the factors on which depends its creation. Walking theoretical research revealed how lack
of competitive advantage leads to a lack of competitiveness of companies and the benefits
that arise with the creation of this type of asset. Among the most important benefits is to
increase performances. Once the competitive advantage is achieved, it must be
maintained and updated market conditions and the methods that can be created a
sustainable competitive advantage represent the answers to many of the companies
questions are fighting for survival in an environment of fierce competition. The
implementation of methods for obtaining competitive advantages, but also exist dangers,
that every company should know them once they develop a strategy for obtaining a
competitive advantage. The purpose of this paper is to present the importance of having
competitive advantage; the ways in which it ppoate obtain and hazards that may arise
with its implementation by companies.
Key words: competitive advantage; companies; competition; strategies
JEL classification: A1, D6
1. Introduction
The concept of competitive advantage in the literature has been introduced by M. Porter
in an attempt to identify objectives. In his book “Competitive Advantage: Creating and
Sustaining Superior Performance,” Porter says the goal of all businesses is getting a
competitive advantage in relations with competitors on the market. This advantage can
be achieved by two ways, ie selling products at a lower price, or their differentiation
(M.Porter 1985). The advantages gained by companies from the use of these two
methods can lead to the determination of its position in the card industry in competes.
Also after acquiring a competitive advantage, the company’s profits will be higher than
average profits of competitors. In order to hold a competitive edge for a long time, the
company must capitalize the available resources to it and this topic has to be one that we
will analyze. A special attention shall be granted to the influence of the advantage over
companies. “Superiority is on how customers perceive as customers using the company
can progress the idea of competitive advantage should be analyzed from their
perspective”. ( Bamberger 1989)
2. The sources of competitive advantage
To highlight the sources of competitive advantage of a company must know the factors
on which depends its creation. The most important are the internal, ie those in the “inside”
of the company, such as structure, resources, capabilities and competencies of the
organization. An effective organizational structure will facilitate communication between
departments, thereby increasing work efficiency. A part of the internal characteristics of
the organization that are essential in creating competitive advantage are: physical
resources, financial, human and organizational assets that are used for its development
and performance. Physical resources include assets used in business operations and
organizational resources are given by the history, relationships and organizational culture.
Sustainability of competitive advantage depends on the following characteristics:
durability, transferability and replicability. Sustainability assumes time period in which held
competitive advantage, portability: the more the resource is less transferable by both will
be greater the competitive advantage sustainability and replicability of the latter, which
means unable to be copied (Sadler, 2003). Just holding the necessary resources to create
the competitive advantage is not enough, they should be exploited, so the company must
have the ability to sell them, and create new ones. We can say about a company that has
a competitive advantage when in its implementation creates a valuable addition (Clulow,
2003). The companies that use their internal capabilities to neutralize potential threats
and avoid weaknesses have the chance to develop a competitive advantage.
3. Strategies to create a competitive advantage
In specialized literature, besides the variants for obtaining a competitive advantage
presented by M. Porter, namely the low cost and differentiation also meet proposed
variants by Carlos Johnson in 2003 and in 2010, acquiring the companies of the
company’s flexibility and sensitivity customer reaction. According to Porter, if a company’s
earnings is higher than the costs, it has a competitive advantage. “Competitive advantage
is given to the company’s ability to increase its earnings despite the competitive pressure“
(M. Porter). Through strategies to create a competitive advantage for a company we
understand those activities that add value to the company. Main activities such as:
accounting, marketing, product development. In terms of human capital as being
important we can refer the following departments: human resources management,
procurement. For bringing a default value and create a competitive advantage of the
organization of these functions must all linked and that they need to use their resources
in an efficient way to satisfy the demands of consumers. An important role is given to the
company’s flexibility is its ability to adapt to market changes. The SWOT analysis of the
company plays an important role in observing and creating competitive advantage.”Firms
that use their internal strenghts in exploiting envirnomental opportunities and neutralizing
environmental threats, while avoidind internal weaknesess, are more likely to gain
competitive advantages than other kinds of firms” (Jay B. Barney).
3.1. Low Cost Strategy
Companies using this strategy, aim to practice the lowest costs in the industry. In theory,
if the sale price may equal the average market prices, having the lowest cost of
production, the company will even find highest profits. Practicing with the lowest prices on
the market requires investment in different departments of the company. There is a
difference between the strategy based on low costs and one based on the optimal costs.
In adopting the strategy based on low costs, companies will compete in prices. The
strategy based on the optimal cost will consider getting the best quality products at a
relatively low price. The acquisition of high capacity production equipment, with which the
company will produce a greater amount of material is essential and can be considered a
barrier to market entry of many companies, because it represents a substantial
investment. The next step would be the actual manufacture of the product, which must be
executed by specialized personnel trained in the field to have fewer rejects. Must be
carrying out an analysis of operating costs and identifying cost the categories with a higher
share. Distribution channels must also be more efficient and take into account the
characteristics of the products, for example, if the product is fragile it must be handled
with care during transport of the products must be well calculated to occur fewer
unpredictable situations, such as immobilization product for a longer period of time
because instead of air travel, a ground transportation by the choice of company. An
example of the application of this method is the Renault company. “In 2013 the Renault
profit has increased by 59% due to increased sales of low-cost Dacia models. Overall a
profit before taxes and exceptional items increased in 2013 to € 1.24 billion surpassing
analysts’ estimates of 1.06 billion euros. Revenues increased 0.5% last year to 40.9 billion
euros. ( During the crisis, Renault has decided to reduce its production
costs with Dacia brand cars, it has a noticeable reduction in the final price of the car. A
first drawback of this method would be eroding revenues as a result of price reduction and
is not compensated by increased sales volume and decrease of the profit which may arise.
The methods used in diminurea costs can easily be addressed and competitors. Another
trap for the companies using this method is the appearance of ignoring customer’s
interest, with the company’s focus solely on cost reductions.
3.2. The products differentiation strategy
It is the strategy that can be used in those market segments where consumer needs are
not met, where there is competition, and the price is not the main feature of choosing
products. The differentiation is on the company’s ability to provide products that are
distinct from those of their competitors. It can be called as positional advantage after its
adopting would result the company’s position in the industry. Companies that are able to
create a competitive advantage based on differentiation requires investment in research
product development, sales team is able to communicate with the products strengths. An
important role in the process of differentiation is innovation, and product quality.
Company’s reputation in terms of quality of products is it essential, and it can not be
created than using technologies in production and of course respecting environmental
standards. It is very important that the product are not imitable, to be rare and valuable,
non-substitutable and is specifically to the company. A study carried out by those from
Global Direct in 2010, states that two-thirds of the 1,000 companies have increased
spending on research development after the recession. Once implemented, the strategy
based on product differentiation will be considered an entry barrier to potential competitors
and that due to building a brand, getting the customers loyalty and brand association that
certain features of products offered such as: quality and utility. A company can not
implement multiple strategies of the competitve advantage (eg cost and differentiation) at
the same time, because each of them requires special attention during the implementation
and fixing the second main objective of the strategy will decrease the efficiency of the
organizational processes Porter (1980). There are few cases where companies was
located in an advantageous position due to rarity or because of their resources to benefit
both cost-based competitive advantage and one based on product differentiation. Some
authors argue that the competitive advantage based on product differentiation leads to
greater financial performance of the company than the one cost-based (Caves Ghemawat
1992, Wong, 1998). One of the companies that have approached this method is Appleby
creating unique and attractive products for consumers. Its success lies in ensuring
customer loyalty through innovative advertising campaigns, retail strategy used by Apple
is called “Minimum advertised price” (MAP). This is a price policy which prohibits sellers
or dealers charging a lower price than that imposed by Apple. There are only two super
supermarkets reselling Apple products where they offer a minimum discount and the final
price paid by buyers will be close to that suggested by the manufacturer. A 30% the annual
marketing budget is spent in order to communicate the strategy of differentiation, ie unique
products, creating a strong brand and loyal customers. In implementing the method of
differentiation existing hazards also:
 adoption of a premium price that the buyer would see as too high;
 failures in signaling value of the product to the customer (marketing errors).
4. The focus or market segmentation
This method of obtaining a competitive advantage complements the one of the above,
that cost or differentiation. When a company uses the method of obtaining a competitive
advantage differentiation, “differentiation focus” will be used to refer to a narrow market
segment receiving personalized unique products. Regarding the offered quantities they
are much smaller. Customers have needs and demands of these markets different from
those whom it is addressed the main products of the company and therefore the prices
will be higher and the quantity produced will be much lower. And in this market segment
companies will seek to practice the lowest prices, and provide the best quality. The
companies that will benefit by using this method will be those capable of producing large
quantities of customized products. We have to consider that we are talking about a niche
of consumers and quantities will be considerably lower than those of the masses market.
Another case in which companies will benefit by using this strategy is that competitors do
not have the technology to manufacture or creation of products for this market. And in this
narrow market segment can be created barriers to entry, but companies will be able to
create shall be those who already possess some advantages such as a known brand,
appropriate marketing processes, advanced production equipment, or the small target
that market segment where consumers are not vulnerable to substitute products and the
competition is weak. The disadvantages of using this kind of trading strategy are:
 preferences of the people within the niche in terms of product attributes
translates to the majority of buyers in the sector – the segment becomes part of
the overall market;
 the segment becomes so attractive that will attract a large number of
competitors, causing dispersion of total profit.
5. Outsourcing the competitive advantage
The reasons why majority of companies choose to outsource some of the ways to obtain
a competitive advantage are usually financial ones. Outsourcing certain activities will
allow the company to focus on flexibility, development and quality. Indeed, the specialists
outside the firm can perform certain activities better or cheaper. If once the outsourcing
process has made by a differentiation of products or services when competitive advantage
is lost. Therefore companies before outsource activities should keep aware of the benefits
of outsourcing and by added value brought products or services. Outsourcing works best
when it facilitates access to the adoption of new technologies and reduce spending takes
place. Accelerate the decision making is with outsourcing and coordination costs are
reduced, which will allow the company to focus on main activities.
6. Sustainability of the competitive advantage
To qualify for the competitive advantages created as much time, companies must
consider the following main characteristics of it: durability, transferability and replicability.
Sustainability is the date time in which the benefits will be used effectively created,
transferability is the date their property to be used only by the company that created them
and the replicability meaning unable to be copied by competitors. Replicability occurs
when competitors are able to create identical copies of products / services offered by the
company, giving consumers a lower price. These three characteristics have an influence
on the competitive position of the company. Because of their companies produce changes
in the market positions. The company’s ability to estimate the gains which it will get from
exploiting its resources is an important factor in creating sustainability. Long-term
competitive advantage owned by a company that is subjected to depreciation and its
ability to imitate rivals. The speed with which they will depreciate however depends on the
characteristics of company resources and capacity competition. The company’s potential
is less subject to impairment than its resources as performing companies are able to
maintain it by replacing some resources even the staff. The company’s ability to maintain
competitive advantages obtained depends on the speed with which competitors will
outperform and speed to which they fail to get the responses you want from these
problems. First one is the finding out the competitive advantages of the company in the
cause and how were these achieved? The second issue by resources and potential of the
company, how could accumulate resources the company competitors to imitate its
successful strategy? To imitate competitors want to know what skills are determined the
competitive advantage of the company’s success, then they will have to determine their
replication resources is often necessary. Obtaining a competitive potential by coordinating
a large number of resources is more difficult to understand and imitated by competitors,
than one that relies solely on a single holding resources. The competitors will not be able
to copy resources to obtain the competitive advantage of companies whose market
position is well established and older. In retail, the competitive advantages that are
obtained by the practice by some players in overtime or electronic outlets the opening can
be easily copied by competitors. Is harder to copy specificities of companie’s from
organizational routines. For example, Google’s ability to motivate employees and Silcotub
Tenaris ability to work iron, representing the companie’s routines based organizational
culture. Some abilities seem simple however are difficult to copy. The benefits of customer
service offered by Xerox are a skill that is not located in a specific department, however
is present throughout the company part of the organizational culture. Creating sustainable
competitive advantages can derive from the sale of intagibile goods owned by the
company such as patents, copyrights, brands but the knowledge gained of certain
employees. It is risky for a company to depend on the skills of certain employees because
eventually they will be able to negotiate added value contribution to the company. The
degree of control exercised by the company and the balance between it and the individual
employee depends on the relationship between individual skills and organizational
culture. For example, the ability of drug companies to use their recent studies on the
production of nutritional supplements as a competitive advantage. This is due to the
research team that was used as a corporate asset and not just some enlightened minds
of some individuals. If the individual’s contribution to company productivity is identified,
and it offers a productivity skills similar to other companies when it is in position to
negotiate the contribution. But as it is less identifiable the individual contribution and skills
as it is used in specific operations of the company with both the added value will be higher.
7. Employee engagement:the key to realizing competitive advantage
Along with EU accession there has been a migration of highly skilled labor to countries in
Europe. Thus the Romanian population has decreased in the last decade to nearly 3
million. In June 2012, of those 20 000 licensees …
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