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Untangling the Origins of Competitive Advantage

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dc.contributor.author Cockburn, Iain
dc.contributor.author Henderson, Rebecca
dc.contributor.author Stern, Scott
dc.date.accessioned 2003-12-12T19:28:13Z
dc.date.available 2003-12-12T19:28:13Z
dc.date.issued 2000-03
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/3822
dc.description A paper prepared for the SMJ Special Issue on The Evolution of Firm Capabilities en
dc.description.abstract What are the origins of competitive advantage? Although this question is fundamental to strategy research, it is one to which we lack a clear answer. As strategy researchers we believe that some firms consistently outperform others, and we have some evidence consistent with this belief (Rumelt, 1991; McGahan and Porter, 1997). We also have a number of well developed theories as to why, at any given moment, it is possible for some firms (and some industries) to earn supranormal returns. As of yet, however, we have no generally accepted theory C and certainly no systematic evidence C as to the origins or the dynamics of such differences in performance. We know, for example, why high barriers to entry coupled with a differentiated product positioning obtained through unique organizational competencies may provide a firm with competitive advantage. But we know much less about how barriers to entry are built: about why this firm and not that one developed the competencies that underlie advantage, and about the dynamic process out of which competitive advantage first arises and then erodes over time. en
dc.description.sponsorship This study was funded by POPI, the Program for the Study of the Pharmaceutical Industry at MIT and by the MIT Center for Innovation in Product Development under NSF Cooperative Agreement Number EEC-9529140. en
dc.format.extent 222350 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.subject competitive advantage en
dc.subject consistently outperform en
dc.subject supranormal en
dc.subject strategy research en
dc.subject barriers en
dc.subject product positioning en
dc.subject supranormal returns en
dc.subject organizational competencies en
dc.title Untangling the Origins of Competitive Advantage en
dc.type Working Paper en


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