Into the First League: The Competitive Advantage of the Antivirus Industry in the Czech Republic and Slovakia
Competition and Change, Vol. 18 No. 5, October 2014, 421–37
17 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2014
Date Written: October 2014
The antivirus industry is the only innovation-intensive sector in which home-grown companies from Central Europe have been able to gain and retain global leadership. We review the literature on sources of national competitive advantage and evaluate the relative importance of different factors, drawing on evidence gained from semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders and existing research about the IT sector’s global and regional trends. Highly-skilled, technical human capital played a crucial and positive role. Paradoxically, a lack of available foreign finance also had a positive impact by steering the best people towards a sector with smaller capital needs. Unlike other leading sectors in Central Europe, where state support and foreign capital were important, these factors were absent in this sector. This article contributes to understanding of the emergence of a home-grown, highly competitive, high-technology sector under the conditions of market transformation, liberalization and internationalization in small economies.
Keywords: antivirus industry, competitive advantage, innovation, Slovakia, human capital
JEL Classification: J24, O3, L86
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation