The competitive advantage of nations : the case of Greece
The present study applies Porter's diamond framework, which identifies the sources of international competitive advantage for particular industries in a country, to the case of Greece. The diamond framework and Porter's work on the development of competitive economies are first summarised, their main applications are presented and a critical evaluation is attempted using the various criticisms and comments made by other researchers. Then, a short economic history of Greece since its liberation and a brief description of Greece's past and present economic environment are followed by 'a review of the Greek literature on industrial competitiveness. The competitive structure of Greek industrial clusters is further explored with the help of trade and other relevant data. Using Porter's methodology, the competitive Greek industries are identified and categorised in clusters. A large part of the study is devoted to five case-studies of particular Greek industries, namely the cement, rolled aluminium products, tourism, men's outerwear, and dairy industries. The conclusions from the case studies, and the data analysis, are positive for the applicability of the framework to Greece. Areas of concern, nevertheless, are apparent, related to domestic rivalry, customer sophistication, as well as, the relationship between firm strategy and structure, and rivalry. On the other hand, Porter's emphasis on geographic concentration, on the industry level of competitiveness, and especially on the cluster concept are found to be justified. These conclusions also provide the basis for the presentation of some suggestions concerning the Greek State's policies and the strategies of Greek companies.