Competitive Strategy as Practice: Obtaining Differential Advantage in the SME

Ardley, Barry and Naikar, Sangarri (2021) Competitive Strategy as Practice: Obtaining Differential Advantage in the SME. Open Journal of Business and Management, 9 (1). pp. 196-212. ISSN 2329-3284

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Competitive Strategy as Practice: Obtaining Differential Advantage in the SME
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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


The purpose of this paper is to examine the implementation of competitive
strategy processes in the SME. The topic was approached by using elements
of practice theory to analyse activity in a range of different SMEs. The research
method adopted was based on data collected from in-depth interviews
with sixteen owner managers. Using practice theory as an analytical framework,
it was established that the majority of the firms in the study utilised
four key practices, in order to obtain advantages in the market place. A central
strategy contributing to a successful competitive position revolved around
key customer service processes, supported by other practices concerned with
cost control, supplier and wider network partnerships. A range of practices
are revealed regarding how the smaller firm can achieve a competitive advantage
in the market place, having key implications for the management of
strategy as practice, future research and theory generation. The value of this
paper is that little work exists with regard to the application of practice theory
in the SME. Consequently, our research helps to fill a gap in understanding
the key relationship that exists between individual actors and the nature of
the institutionally based strategic practices they inhabit and reproduce.

Keywords:competitive strategy, practice theory, qualitative research
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:43792
Deposited On:16 Feb 2021 15:02

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