Modeling competitive advantage in fast growth small-to-medium enterprises: contingent effects of environmental turbulence

James, T 2009, Modeling competitive advantage in fast growth small-to-medium enterprises: contingent effects of environmental turbulence, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Management, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Modeling competitive advantage in fast growth small-to-medium enterprises: contingent effects of environmental turbulence
Author(s) James, T
Year 2009
Abstract This thesis develops a contingency-based model for competitive advantage, tested over time on a sample of rapidly growing small-to-medium enterprises. Incorporating two independent studies, the project addresses interactions between specific elements of strategic orientation, strategic behaviour, firm performance, while examining the moderating role of environmental turbulence.

Principal research questions addressed are: To what extent do sources of
advantage (strategic orientations) contribute to positional advantage (strategic behavior)? To what extent does positional advantage contribute to firm performance? To what extent does environmental turbulence moderate the strength of hypothesized relationships between strategic orientation, strategic behavior, and firm performance? And, does the proposed model hold over time in the context of changed economic environments? Utilizing a quantitative approach Studies 1 (n = 117) and 2 (n = 109) involve cross-sectional designs, testing an hypothesized model at two successive time periods, 12 months apart.

Using structural equation modeling techniques findings reveal that fast growth firms sustain competitive advantage through the adoption of specific processes, demonstrating a capacity to realign with changing environments as evidenced by flexible, adaptive, and proactive posturing. Moreover, fast growth firms value learning, intensifying knowledge acquisition and dissemination activities when environmental turbulence is high. Implications for theory suggest that a contingency based model for competitive advantage of fast growth firms should be dynamic, and comprise specific elements of intangible resources (strategic orientations), positional advantage (strategic behaviors), and firm performance.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Management
Keyword(s) Competitive advantage
firm performance
strategy
fast growth
SME
environmental turbulence
structural equation modeling
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Created: Wed, 27 Jun 2012, 14:17:47 EST by Guy Aron
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