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  • 1.
    Awuah, Gabriel Baffour
    et al.
    School of Business and Engineering, University of Halmstad, Halmstad, Sweden.
    Abraha Gebrekidan, Desalegn
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Networked (interactive) position: a new view of developing and sustaining competitive advantage2008In: Competitiveness Review: an international business journal, ISSN 1059-5422, E-ISSN 2051-3143, Vol. 18, no 4, p. 333-350Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – In the extant literature a firm's development of its competitive advantage is seen to be the task of the firm alone. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new and a broader approach of how competitive advantage can be developed and maintained in today's highly competitive and dynamic markets. To this end, how a firm handles its relationships with significant actors in its network becomes very decisive for the development of its competitive advantage.

    Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on a network approach, case studies have been used to shed lights on the extent to which the development of competitive advantage of firms affect and are affected by their interaction with some actors in a network of exchange relationships.

    Findings – An important conclusion of this study is that a firm's highly valued performance, an indication of its strong position or competitive strength, has its roots in its regular and intensive interaction with some significant actors in its network.

    Research limitations/implications – All firms in this study have demonstrated that competitive advantage can be achieved by building up a strong position through interaction, learning and adaptation with some significant actors in the marketplace. Since the study is based on one setting, extending a similar study to several settings will be very useful.

    Originality/value – The paper provides insights into how a firm, in the effort to build its competitive advantage, draws on its own capabilities and complementary capabilities of its partners in a network.

  • 2.
    Hyder, Akmal S.
    et al.
    Department of Business Administration, University of Gävle, Sweden.
    Abraha, Desalegn
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Strategic Alliances in the Baltic States: A case of Swedish Firms2006In: Competitiveness Review: an international business journal, ISSN 1059-5422, E-ISSN 2051-3143, Vol. 16, no 3-4, p. 173-196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The importance of the Baltic states has increased due to increase of capital inflow from the West. A large part of the foreign involvement takes the form of alliance with local partners in the region. But how these alliances operate and fulfill the objectives of the partners in the Baltic states remain almost unexplored. By the help of depth interviews, four alliances, two in Estonia and the other two in Lithuania, have therefore been studied in this research work. The theoretical framework is based on the concepts of motives, resources, learning, network, performance and general environment. Cost reduction, market seeking, and development and maintenance of services have been the main motives of foreign firms in entering into the alliances. No clear cut motive is observed from the local partners’ side. Learning has been found important for both the partners and concerns cultural differences, local knowhow and adaptation to the Western way in doing business. A broader view of performance is presented by including network development in the article. Profitability, market share, and sales have been seen as short term while network development and relationships as longterm performance criteria in the alliances. The role of general environment on alliances and its impact on network development have also been observed. This study further suggests that alliances offering service dominated products concentrate on the local markets, while alliances offering products with less service elements have export as the target.

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