Our understanding of the nature of competitive advantage has not been helped by a tendency for theorists to adopt a unitary position, suggesting, for example, that advantage is industry based or resource based. In examining the nature of competitive advantage in an electronic business (e-business) environment this paper adopts a contingency perspective. Several intriguing questions emerge. Do 'new economy' companies have different resource profiles to 'old economy' companies? Are the patterns of resource development and accumulation different? Are attained advantages less sustainable for e-businesses? These are the kinds of themes examined in this paper. The literature on competitive advantage is reviewed as are the challenges posed by the recent changes in the business environment.Two broad sets of firms are identified as emerging out of the e-business shake up and the resource profiles of these firms are discussed. Several research propositions are advanced and the implications for research and practice are discussed.
- Sustainable Competitive Advantage
- Competitive Advantage
- contingency perspective
- resource-BASED view
- electronic business