Alternative Paths to Competitive Advantage: A Fuzzy-Set Analysis of the Origins of Large Firms
Järvinen, Joonas and Lamberg, Juha-Antti and Murmann, Johan-Peter and Ojala, Jari (2009) Alternative Paths to Competitive Advantage: A Fuzzy-Set Analysis of the Origins of Large Firms. Industry & Innovation, 16 (6). pp. 545-574. ISSN 1366-2716
Official URL: http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/13662710903371066
Scholars have documented the importance of national-level factors for the competitive success of firms on a global scale. These studies typically identify multiple factors that are behind the emergence of large and successful firms in particular national clusters. However, there has been relatively little research identifying whether such factors are all collectively necessary to produce the outcome, or whether only a few of the factors in different combinations might be sufficient to generate the shift in competitive advantage manifested in the market power of large ‘flagship’ firms. In this paper, we study the evolution of one industry across six countries in which the competitive position of national firms changed considerably during our one hundred year analysis period. The results of our combined historical and fuzzy set analyses show that an unequal distribution of resources may lead to alternative causal pathways to competitive advantage of the largest firms.
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