Conversations in Competitive Advantage: A Bibliographic Analysis of the Major Research Streams and Their Influence on the Field
26 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2009
Date Written: March 2, 2009
One of the central questions in strategic management involves competitive advantage. However, a variety of theoretical approaches are used in studying competitive advantage, a variety of issues with theory application and testing persist, and uncertainty exists regarding the future and direction for strategy as a discipline. Therefore, the purpose of this working paper is to examine the major research conversations in the context. Through doing so, we seek to clarify the conversations surrounding this central topic and to determine the influence of these conversations on the larger field of strategy. Our preliminary results indicate that one of the challenges the field is facing may be that we are not having a small set of central, directed conversations, but a large set of numerous, somewhat fractured, conversations. Specifically, through our factor analysis of the citation patterns of articles in the Strategic Management Journal between 2004 and 2009, we identify 12 distinct conversations surrounding competitive advantage. We examine these conversations, discuss their apparent impact on the field of strategic management, and develop some suggested directions for future research towards clarification, resolution, and convergence.
Keywords: Competitive Advantage, Strategic Management Theory, Research Impact, Citation Analysis
JEL Classification: L1, L21, L12, L13, L16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation