GAINING SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE IT ADVANTAGES: MULTIPLE CASE STUDIES IN INTERNATIONALIZED BUSINESSES
This research studies how the studied firms gain sustainable competitive advantages (SCAs). The issue has been studied in the literature on business strategy: the challenge for managers is to identify, develop, protect and use resources and skills that provide the firm with SCAs. Eight cases were studied. All concerned Information Technology firms that sell to other companies. The variables used were qualitative. Data was collected from primary and secondary sources of information. The primary sources consisted of the studied firms, where interviews with management were held. The main results are: (1) One firm develops products abroad and this aspect is a competitive advantage. (2) There are cases that resort to a model that provides them with great operating flexibility. (3) One firm obtained SCAs by developing a strategy whereby it implemented a franchise model for development and distribution. The franchise system encourages entrepreneurial behavior among the franchisees. (4) One case gained a competitive advantage through the complexity and sophistication of its products. (5) Some of the cases searched for market niches that were less exposed to competition.
Key-words: Strategic management. Strategic planning. Advanced Technology firms. Management of multinationals.
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