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Title: Sources of sustained competitive advantage : a resource-based analysis
Author: Moesli, Christoph
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2013
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Understanding the origins of persistent superior firm performance has in the past few decades emerged as one of most important areas of research in the field of strategic management. Existing empirical studies on performance variability, however, remain inconclusive, and a significant portion of the variance in performance is still unexplained. The purpose of this dissertation is to deepen our understanding of the firm-level sources of sustained competitive advantage. It is one of the few empirical studies that attempt to explore firm-level sources of sustained competitive advantage from inside the organization. This study adopts a resource-based perspective and an exploratory multicase study research design to empirically explore and inductively analyse firm-level differences and their links to competitive advantage. The study is based on 26 semi-structured interviews with senior management team members, drawn from a purposive cross-sectional sample of 11 high-performing firms in Switzerland and adjacent countries. The findings of the study suggest that nine firm resources are most closely associated with competitive advantage: firm reputation, culture, brand reputation, management team, employees, relationships, innovation capability, controlling employee fluctuation, and national reputation. This study makes a number of significant theoretical and managerial contributions. Most notably, it indicates that much of the performance variance previous studies have failed to explain is attributable to firm resources that have heretofore been ignored or handled in an overly abstract manner, such as innovation capability and national reputation. The study also calls researchers' attention to performance-relevant resource characteristics, suggests that the links between resources and firm performance may be more complex than often assumed, and indicates that defining strategic resources in terms of their use value alleviates the problem of tautology that the RBV i is sometimes claimed to suffer from. Finally, the study is of service to managers by suggesting firm resources that can lead to a sustained competitive advantage.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available