Past and Future of Competitive Advantage Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

The quest for competitive advantage often inspires leaders to emulate strategies of the most successful companies. Interestingly, however, exactly the opposite factors are considered sources of competitive advantage at different points in time. Emphasis Henry Ford focus has been touted as the key to success right next to the production line of latitude General Motors. Vertical integration of IBM was considered unassailable source of competitive advantage a generation ago, today admired outsourcing flexibility inherent in non-integrated business model, Cisco Systems and Dell Computer. If history is any guide, practices and business models that make the benefits of the most successful modern companies provide these benefits because of specific factors to work under certain conditions at a particular time. Harvard Business School's Clayton Christensen, a leading thinker on technology breakthroughs, preventing managers need to understand the context that supports the particular competitive advantage. It explains why, for example, pharmaceutical companies now focus on increasing merger moves them exactly the wrong direction at exactly the wrong time. He accuses them of strategies (and investment bankers), but not thought deeply about cause and effect with respect to a competitive advantage. He also points out that the very existence of competitive advantage drives the creative innovations that as competitors strive to level the playing field, causing the advantage to dissipate. This is not to search for competitive advantage is futile. Rather, it suggests that a successful strategy must develop a deep understanding of the processes of competition and progress and the factors that form the basis of every advantage. Only then will they be able to see where the old is ready to vanish the advantages and benefits of the new can be built in their stead. "Hide
by Clayton M. Christensen, Goran Carstedt Source: MIT Sloan Management Review 7 pages. Publication Date: December 1, 2001. Prod. #: SMR062-PDF-ENG

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