Directions for obtaining the file: Access the Grantham University library by clicking on the Resources tab from the main page in GLife or from the Library Resource Center under My Organizations in Blackboard. You will then click on the EBSCOHost icon. Once you have accessed the database, simply copy and paste the title of the article and press enter to search and you should now have the file accessible to review.
Through research from sources provided in the course and from academic and scholarly resources outside of the course, evaluate and discuss the following elements:
Analyze two competitive advantage management strategies that are effective in creating an organizational advantage through elevating enterprise performance
Determine strategies that will create effective leadership for an organization to gain and maintain a competitive advantage.
Apply competitive advantage management strategies that will strengthen internal and external organizational relationships and create organizational growth to your organization (or a former one).
The paper should contain the following APA formatted elements:
Body of the essay (Your researched response).
The requirements below must be met for your paper to be accepted and graded:
Write a response between 750 – 1000 words for the body of the essay (The title page, abstract, conclusion and References section are not counted toward the word requirement.) (approximately 4-6 pages) using Microsoft Word in APA style.
Address all three elements fully.
Use font size 12 and 1” margins.
Use at least three references from outside the course material (You may use the academic resources included in the Week 8 Bibliography.) one reference must be from EBSCOhost. The course textbook and lectures can be used, but are not counted toward the five reference requirement.
References must come from sources such as, academic and scholarly journals and essays found in EBSCOhost, CNN, online newspapers such as, The Wall Street Journal, government websites, etc. Sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. are not acceptable for academic writing.
Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased words, values, etc.) in the paper and list on a reference page in APA style. Provide citations everywhere information from the sources is used for foundational support and for validation of opinions.
Use the third person narrative and avoid the use of the first and second person narrative and terms such as; I, me, myself, you, your, yourself, we or us (or related form such as let’s (let us) or we’ll, we’ve (we will / we have) among others). This will prevent the author or other parties from becoming the subject matter and will maintain the focus of the paper on the central theme and subject matter found in the elements.
Be informational and avoid being conversational.
The business world today is constantly faced with unexpected changes in technology, customer preferences, competition, and other factors that affect business. With continued innovation, increased creativity, and increased technology development, businesses are finding it difficult to maintain competitiveness in business. A competitive advantage is necessary for any business to maintain market leadership and high competitiveness in a competitive industry. A competitive advantage provides a company with an edge over its rivals in business, an edge that ensures that the company continues to perform better than the rival companies. A competitive advantage can be developed by a company through the application of various business strategies, organizational culture, or through the production of unique products. In this paper, the concept of competitive advantage, including how it is developed by a company and the various strategies that can be used in competitive advantage management, will be discussed.
Competitive advantage is a concept that was introduced by Porter in his attempt to explain business objectives (Porter, 1985). According to Porter (Porter, 1985), the objective of any business or company is to acquire a competitive advantage in relation to other companies or business in the market. Competitive advantage is obtained by a business through either selling the products it produces at a price that is lower compared to that set by competitors or by product differentiation. A competitive advantage obtained by a company is important since it determines the performance of the company in the industry (Daniela, 2014). By acquiring a competitive advantage, a company is able to achieve profits and sales that are higher than the average sales and profits of the competitors. Acquiring a competitive advantage may be easy. However, maintaining it is quite difficult and a company has to major on all its available resources to maintain it.
Competitive Advantage Management Strategies That Are Effective In Creating an Organizational Advantage through Elevating Enterprise Performance
Competitive advantage may be obtained either externally or by altering internal organization processes and behavior. Internal methods of acquiring a competitive advantage aim at elevating the performance of the company. Adopting an innovation-based culture is one internal strategy that companies use to acquire and manage competitive advantage (Hill, 1988). A company may gain industry superiority through continuous innovation. Innovative processes, business models, and products provide a company with a competitive edge that is strong as a result of the first mover advantage. By benching innovation against the best practices of a company, a competitive advantage is acquired and will be maintained by continued innovation (Daniela, 2014).
Another strategy that a company can use to acquire and maintain a competitive advantage by elevating enterprise performance is through product differentiation or the production of unique products. In order for a company to produce a unique product (such as a product of high quality or one that has unique characteristics), the company has to improve its production processes and engage its employees in the change process that will realize the product differentiation and improvement. By improving production processes and engaging employees, a company is able to acquire a competitive advantage while achieving better performance.
Strategies That Create Effective Leadership for an Organization to Gain and Maintain a Competitive Advantage
Leadership affects all the processes and activities in a business. Effective leadership may enable an organization to achieve a competitive edge over its competitors. An organization may acquire and maintain a competitive advantage through employee engagement. When leadership effectively engages employees in all the processes and decisions of the company. A good leader is aware that when employees are actively engaged, performance, customer satisfaction, and productivity improve since employees are motivated to contribute to the company’s success (Daniela, 2014). They are, therefore, more willing to put in extra effort to meet customer demands and corporate goals. The behavior of leaders largely affects the level to which employees are engaged. A good leader is able to encourage open communication and listen to their employees’ contributions and concerns.
An organization may also acquire and maintain a competitive advantage through a cost-leadership strategy. In cost-leadership, the leadership of a business organization directs operations and employees in a way that ensures low production cost or production of goods at a cost that is lower than the industry average (Hill, 1988). The leadership of the company plays an important role in the achievement of a low cost of production since the leaders direct raw material purchases, influence employee performance, and productivity, and determine the organizational culture.
Competitive Advantage Management Strategies That Strengthen Internal and External Organizational Relationships and Create Organizational Growth
Cost Leadership Strategy
The goal of a cost leadership strategy is to ensure that a company becomes the lowest-cost producer in an industry (Hill, 1988). In order to achieve this, a company may produce goods on large scale, enabling the company to achieve large economies of scale. Every industry places emphasis on the production cost since it determines the final product price at the market. By achieving low production cost, a company can discount its prices, offering goods at a price that is lower compared to its competitors. This will ensure that the company achieves higher sales and profits compared to the other industry players. The strategy’s effectiveness and its achievement require cooperation between the various functional areas within the company.
With this strategy, a company targets larger markets with the aim of acquiring a competitive advantage across the whole industry. The company selects a criterion used by customers in the selection of products in the market and positions itself to meet the criterion in a unique way. The company may then charge a premium price, to reflect the extra value added in the product offered (Barney, 1986). This strategy is utilized through the production of a superior quality product, by the use of a strong brand, by the establishment of a good distribution network, or by the provision of consistent promotional support.
A competitive advantage is important for a company that wishes to achieve and maintain its competitiveness in today’s business world. The company’s resources and capacity determine how competitive advantage can be created and maintained. The various factors that may be used to achieve a competitive advantage may be internal or external. The management or leadership of a company should determine which company strengths and opportunities can be utilized to acquire a competitive advantage over the competitors. It is also important to ensure that the competitive advantage acquired is sustainable.
Barney, J. B. (1986). Organizational culture: can it be a source of sustained competitive advantage?. Academy of management review, 11(3), 656-665.
Daniela, P. A. (2014). Competitive advantage in the enterprise performance. THE ANNALS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ORADEA, 522.
Hill, C. W. (1988). Differentiation versus low cost or differentiation and low cost: A contingency framework. Academy of management Review, 13(3), 401-412.
Porter, M. E. (1985). Competitive advantage free press. New York.
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