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Competition, Competitive Advantage, and ClustersThe Ideas of Michael Porter$
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Robert Huggins and Hiro Izushi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199578030

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578030.001.0001

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The strategic management framework: a methodological and epistemological examination

The strategic management framework: a methodological and epistemological examination

(p.75) 5 The strategic management framework: a methodological and epistemological examination
Competition, Competitive Advantage, and Clusters

Omar Aktouf

Miloud Chennoufi

W. David Holford

Oxford University Press

This chapter suggests that while Porter's work is the basis of a systematic approach to strategy, it in no way guarantees the scientific rigor he claims. It offers a two-fold critique concerning the ‘real’ reasons for the success enjoyed by Porter's work. At the ideological level it is argued that Porter's work legitimizes the current state of relations of force within and between firms operating in advanced capitalist economies, allowing dominant incumbents to draw arguments and reasons of a scientific nature to justify their domination. At the operational level, it is argued that his work offers ease of comprehension, relative ease of implementation, and subsequent gratification from initial operational successes. It is suggested operational successes derived from Porter's frameworks do not assure the achievement of a lasting, defensible, and non-easily imitable competitive advantage.

Keywords:   Michael Porter, strategic management, five forces, competitive advantage

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