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Competitive Advantage and Learning

Competitive Advantage and Learning






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  • Home exercise for next week: answer to either: SMD Paper December 2004 Q2, or SMD Paper June 2005 Q2

Competitive Advantage and Learning Competitive Advantage and Learning Presentation Transcript

  • Sources of competitive advantage
    • Superior product benefit
    • Perceived advantage (through communication/branding)
    • Low cost operations
    • Legal advantage (e.g. patents, copyrights)
    • Superior contacts
    • Superior knowledge (of customers/markets, science/technology)
    • Scale advantages
    • Offensive attitudes (competitive toughness & determination to win)
    • Hugh Davidson (1987) Offensive Marketing
  • Competitive advantage and learning
    • Competitiveness arises from understanding customer needs in a manner that allows superior value to be provided
    • By being aware of both existing and potential competitor activities, firms are able to take appropriate action to respond to opportunities and threats
    • Firms that develop the learning capability to achieve this are able to reshape themselves and so sustain their competitiveness
    Doole & Lowe
  • Competitive advantage and learning
    • Minimising the incidence and potential impact of serious environmental disturbances, through advance acquisition of knowledge
    • Increased flexibility enables firms to develop rapid company responses to exploit emerging opportunities/extinguish threats
    Morgan et al. (1998)
  • A learning organisation is… …an organisation skilled at creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behaviour to reflect new knowledge and insights The Learning Organisation
  • Organisational knowledge
    • Explicit knowledge
      • v.
    • Tacit knowledge
  • Organisational knowledge
    • Explicit knowledge
    • Knowledge that can be displayed as numbers and words and can be shared easily
    • Knowledge contained within some sort of artefact, such as a process, document or video, that has typically been created with the goal of communicating with another person
    • An intellectual property of the organisation
    • Developed through the signal learning processes?
  • Organisational knowledge
    • Tacit knowledge
    • More ambiguous than explicit knowledge
    • Can be described as unarticulated knowledge, hard to formalise and difficult to express
    • Developed by an individual’s or an organisation’s insights, beliefs, values and perspectives developed over time
    • What the knower knows that is not obvious to others and is derived from experience.
    • More akin to 3R learning?
  • Organisational learning
    • Signal learning
      • v.
    • 3R learning
  • Signal learning
    • Signal learning is concerned with monitoring and maintaining a position in global markets
    • Concerned with the traditional activities of the operations of a company
    • Companies need to have an understanding of the indicators they need to monitor in their markets so the right signals are picked up
  • 3‘R’ Learning
    • Reflect
    • Re-evaluate
    • Respond
    • 3R learning occurs in anticipation of, or in response to critical events occurring in the market
    • Firms who successfully reinvent themselves undergo 3R learning in reflecting on the demise of traditional markets
  • 3‘R’ Learning
    • Companies committed to 3R learning:
    • Are more likely to have developed internal competence to build and market a technological breakthrough.
    • Have the knowledge and ability to understand and anticipate latent needs and the ability to spot opportunities created by emerging market demand.
    • Are likely to have a greater innovation capability than competitors and be prepared to learn from failure as well as success
  • Developing 3‘R’ learning
    • Question existing product, service, process and systems and examine how they contribute strategically to the future marketplace
    • Learn how to discard things done previously in order to create the capacity to make step changes or even quantum leaps - organisational un-learning
    • Create new knowledge through radical changes
    • Think creatively rather than following predictable traditional paths
    Wang and Ahmed (2003)
  • Developing 3‘R’ learning
    • Breakthrough innovations sometimes need unexpected leaps of creativity and insight
    • Build competencies within the organisation and in the marketplace to undermine the innovations of competitors
    • Develop creative quality processes to help the company deliver value innovations in the marketplace
    Wang and Ahmed (2003)
  • Single & double-loop learning Organisational learning
  • Past barriers and future obstacles Doole & Lowe The Learning Organisation
  • The need for managers to ‘learn to forget’
    • Competing for industry foresight by identifying how the market will or can be encouraged to develop
    • Developing the skills and structures within the firm that will be needed in order to compete in the new environment
    • Ensuring the organisation’s resources are focused, developed and exploited to the full
    • Developing a clear understanding of the core competencies the firm has now and will need in the future
    Doole & Lowe
  • Organisational values for effective organisational learning
    • Commitment to learning
    • Open mindedness
    • Shared vision
    • Intra-organisational knowledge sharing
  • Knowledge Management
    • “ A vehicle to systematically and routinely help individuals, groups, teams and organisations to:
    • Learn what the individual knows
    • Learn what other know (e.g. individuals and teams)
    • Learn what the organisation knows
    • Learn what you need to learn
    • Organise and disseminate these learnings effectively and simply
    • Apply these learnings to new endeavours
    • This is simple and clear as a statement, but is difficult to accomplish. Although managing knowledge has been a human task for more than 5 million years, it has only recently gained attention as a business discipline.”
    • Gorelick, C., Milton, N., and April, K. (2004) Performance Through Learning: Knowledge Management in Practice