Trade-Offs? What Trade-Offs? Competence and Competitiveness in Manufacturing Strategy

by Charles Corbett, Luk Van Wassenhove



Manufacturing strategy is increasingly recognized by academics as essential to achieving sustainable competitive advantage. It is important to distinguish clearly between internal competences and external measures of competitiveness; ensuring a proper link between the two is a critical factor for success. This article suggests that: competences don't have to hurt each other; performance relative to the competition is what counts; each product has to meet some minimum requirements to have a chance of selling; and these requirements are continually becoming tougher. The article sketches a scenario where even superior manufacturing may no longer be a source of competitive advantage, but simply a ticket to the ball game.

California Management Review

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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