Competing on Information: An Exploration of Concepts
64 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 16, 2011
In the literature for strategic management a number of authors have explained in which ways information and communication technology (ICT) is being deployed in the strategy of the firm. In management books and articles in management journals a variety of cases have been described how specific firms deploy ICT but increasingly information, in their strategy. A number of authors have proposed conceptual frameworks for new strategies enabled by the deployment of ICT, but less so due to the changing nature of information and the exploitation of information. Both for educational purposes and for transferring insights gained from leading firms to other firms in a reliable and comprehensive way a conceptual framework is needed to understand new strategies, especially those based on competing on information and information superiority. This paper explorers the different concept of information in relation to a strategic deployment of information. The strategic deployment of ICT can be explained in the concepts of industrial organization as the underlying theory of strategy. The strategic deployment of information partly fits into traditional concepts, but also questions traditional concept of strategy. Also the lower costs of information and communication make corporate strategy and some aspects of business strategy converge, whereas other aspects of business strategy converge with operations. The higher transparency in markets due to lower costs of information and communication forces firms to shift their strategies from the conduct level to the structure level to create and maintain market power. Especially information overload and mediation of goods and services create strategies outside the scope of traditional strategies. The increased role of information in marketing, sales and the customer value proposition and the increased volatility in consumer preferences require firms to created some form of information superiority, that is the capability to acquire, record, store, retrieve, interpret information and turn this into product and price differentiation and adjusted customer value propositions. The attempt to understand the various roles of information in firm’s strategies reveals that the field of strategy lacks a coherent theory.
Keywords: Strategy, information, competitiveness, information superiority, information theory, business models
JEL Classification: D21, D41, D80, D83, L10, L22, L23, M10, M21
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