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Especially in the constantly changing environment organizations have to be cautious and aim to stay aligned with the industry context. Organizations have to play by the rules of the game, meaning that they have to shape their organization around the environment. However, playing by the rules of the game also inherits the fact that strategist aren’t shaping the organization but the environment is (Wit, de and Meyer, 2010b). Thus between organizations there is little difference in goals and strategies, evidence for this can be found within the generic strategies described by Porter (1985). When every organization is lead by generic strategies and no one is really unique sustainable competitive advantage is narrow.
De Wit and Meyer (2010b) state that “the more innovative the rule breaker, the larger will be the competitive advantage over rivals stuck with outdated business models”. Gaining sustainable competitive advantage thus implies shaping your environment instead of letting the environment shape you. In other words constantly innovating in order to shape a new industry context, which is also referred at as a blue ocean by Kim and Mauborgne (2004, 2005a).
This paper investigates how a blue ocean strategy through alliances provides sustainable competitive advantage in a highly changing and interconnected environment.
I will address blue ocean strategy and its hurdles from a strategic alliance perspective, how strategic alliances in a complex world add value and i will end the paper with a discussion on how strategic alliances strengthen blue ocean strategies.