IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Managing the fit between the views of competitive strategy and the strategic role of service operations


  • Lillis, Bob
  • Sweeney, Mike


Previous research has verified the positive impact that internal strategic fit can have on business performance. However, many service organizations experience the difficulty of managing the fit between competitive and operations’ strategies. Inherent within the problem has been insufficient understanding of the substantive relationships between the dimensions of competitive and operations’ strategies. The purpose of this service-based business research was to investigate the characteristics of the competitive and operations’ strategies of a business in order to assess the degree of fit. Strategic profiling was used as the method to investigate the characteristics of the different relationships between competitive and operations’ strategies in 21 service businesses. The research results in the identification of a diverse range of organizational relationships developed by the adoption of different approaches to competitive strategy formulation and their consequences upon the strategic role of operations. The findings should be of particular interest to both strategic and operations managers as they detail a means of assessing the perceived level of strategic fit between the current competitive and operations’ strategies of a business. Such an assessment can facilitate the planning of interventions for its future improvement.

Suggested Citation

  • Lillis, Bob & Sweeney, Mike, 2013. "Managing the fit between the views of competitive strategy and the strategic role of service operations," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 564-590.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:31:y:2013:i:6:p:564-590
    DOI: 10.1016/j.emj.2012.10.001

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hallgren, Mattias & Olhager, Jan, 2006. "Quantification in manufacturing strategy: A methodology and illustration," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 113-124, November.
    2. Nicolai J. Foss & Thorbjørn Knudsen, 2003. "The resource-based tangle: towards a sustainable explanation of competitive advantage," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 291-307.
    3. N/A, 1995. "Statistical Appendix," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 151(1), pages 95-104, February.
    4. Daniel Levinthal, 2006. "The Neo-Schumpeterian theory of the firm and the strategy field," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 391-394, April.
    5. Carl Shapiro, 1989. "The Theory of Business Strategy," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(1), pages 125-137, Spring.
    6. Bowman, Cliff & Ambrosini, Veronique, 2007. "Identifying Valuable Resources," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 320-329, August.
    7. Shaker A. Zahra & Harry J. Sapienza & Per Davidsson, 2006. "Entrepreneurship and Dynamic Capabilities: A Review, Model and Research Agenda," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 917-955, June.
    8. Steve Brown & Kate Blackmon, 2005. "Aligning Manufacturing Strategy and Business-Level Competitive Strategy in New Competitive Environments: The Case for Strategic Resonance," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 793-815, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:taf:oabmxx:v:3:y:2016:i:1:p:1189478 is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:31:y:2013:i:6:p:564-590. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.