CHAPTER4

Hypercompetition and Beyond

Michael Porter’s strategic positioning and Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad’s resource-based approaches offer divergent perspectives on the world of strategy. Yet despite their dissimilarities they share a fundamental assumption that remained largely unchallenged into the 1990s: the ultimate objective of strategic management is to obtain sustainable competitive advantage and therefore that sustainable competitive advantage is not just desirable but also possible.

But by the mid-1990s, doubts were setting in. Was competitive advantage inevitably ephemeral? Was sustainable competitive advantage a fiction of the strategist’s imagination, and creating it the management equivalent of alchemy? Richard D’Aveni of Tuck ...

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