Core Competence for Sustainable Competitive Advantage

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28 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT, VOL. 49, NO. 1, FEBRUARY 2002 Core Competence for Sustainable Competitive Advantage: A Structured Methodology for Identifying Core Competence Khalid Hafeez, YanBing Zhang, and Naila Malak Abstract—Core competencies are the crown jewels of a company and, therefore, should be carefully nurtured and developed. Companies can determine their future business directions based on the strengths of competencies. However, because generalized terms such as resource, asset, capability, and competence are not clearly explained in connection with competence theory, these posing difficulties in understanding many contemporary management concepts. In this paper, we provide a summary of the recent…show more content…
III. CAPABILITY IS FORMED BY THE INTEGRATION OF RESOURCES Table I shows that competitive advantage is gained by the strategic deployment of some resources, capabilities, and/or competencies. Literature review suggests that concepts such as resources, capabilities, competencies, and core competencies are not clearly defined. We have found that only the resource itself is defined with a wide range of meanings. On one hand, resources are defined as “anything which could be thought of as a strength or weakness of a firm” [9]. This “anything” may include physical resources (e.g., raw materials, equipment, financial endowment, etc.), human resources (e.g., training, experience, skills, etc.), as well as organizational resources (e.g., firm image, process, routines, etc.) [4], [14]. Note that with this definition, capabilities are considered as part of resource. On the other hand, capabilities are not part of resource because of their dynamic “doing” nature. Many authors argue that capabilities are the result of resource deployment and organizational processes. Capabilities use resources and, therefore, are more dynamic and complex entity and should be treated independent to resources [15]. We feel more comfortable with Grant [5] definition who argues: “Resources are inputs into the
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