International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Competitive Advantage: A Mirage or Mirror to Strategic Efforts?
Patricia G. Mwangi

Competitive advantage despite being pivotal in strategic management literature remains equivocal right from its definition, sources and measurement thereby becoming a mirage to strategic efforts. This paper, through literature review, presents a conceptual argument for a paradigm shift where competitive advantage is not adduced to the whole firm but rather to products and value chain activities using multiple measures relevant to the organization’s processes and contexts. This would imply that a firm can have an advantage in one activity and a disadvantage in another within the same value chain. Further, competitive advantage as a variable becomes a mediator to performance or a dimension of performance to mirror strategic efforts but not an independent variable. This shift is informative to scholars and managers since it allows for the evaluation of the firm’s activities individually and enables scholars to operationalize competitive advantage based on the value chain activities and organizational contexts.

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