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Alternative Paths to Competitive Advantage: A Fuzzy-Set Analysis of the Origins of Large Firms

Author

Listed:
  • Joonas Jarvinen
  • Juha-Antti Lamberg
  • Johan-Peter Murmann
  • Jari Ojala

Abstract

Scholars have documented the importance of national-level factors for the competitive success of firms on a global scale. These studies typically identify multiple factors that are behind the emergence of large and successful firms in particular national clusters. However, there has been relatively little research identifying whether such factors are all collectively necessary to produce the outcome, or whether only a few of the factors in different combinations might be sufficient to generate the shift in competitive advantage manifested in the market power of large “flagship” firms. In this paper, we study the evolution of one industry across six countries in which the competitive position of national firms changed considerably during our 100-year analysis period. The results of our combined historical and fuzzy-set analyses show that an unequal distribution of resources may lead to alternative causal pathways to competitive advantage of the largest firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Joonas Jarvinen & Juha-Antti Lamberg & Johan-Peter Murmann & Jari Ojala, 2009. "Alternative Paths to Competitive Advantage: A Fuzzy-Set Analysis of the Origins of Large Firms," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(6), pages 545-574.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:16:y:2009:i:6:p:545-574 DOI: 10.1080/13662710903371066
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Järvinen, Joonas & Lamberg, Juha-Antti & Pietinalho, Lauri, 2012. "The fall and the fragmentation of national clusters: Cluster evolution in the paper and pulp industry," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 218-241.
    2. Wagemann, Claudius & Buche, Jonas & Siewert, Markus B., 2016. "QCA and business research: Work in progress or a consolidated agenda?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 2531-2540.
    3. Peltoniemi, Mirva, 2013. "Mechanisms of capability evolution in the Finnish forest industry cluster," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 190-205.
    4. Seny Kan, Anderson Konan & Adegbite, Emmanuel & El Omari, Sami & Abdellatif, Mahamat, 2016. "On the use of qualitative comparative analysis in management," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 1458-1463.
    5. Maria Del Sorbo & Nick von Tunzelmann, 2011. "A gap in competencies or in capabilities?: the role of regional universities in developing scientific and technological skills in Campania," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1360, European Regional Science Association.

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