Reflecting on various perspectives on the ‘sources of competitive advantage
This is a strategic management reflective essay and the topic is reflecting on various perspectives on the ‘sources of competitive advantage’. I give you some reading website below: Barney, J.B. 1991. Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1): 99-120 (Available via ANU library: http://jom.sagepub.com/content/17/1/99)
Reed, R., & Defillippi. 1990. Causal ambiguity, barriers to imitation, and sustainable competitive advantage. Academy of Management Review, 15(1): 88-102 (Available via ANU library http://www.jstor.org/stable/i303000)
Gibbons, R & Henderson, R. 2012. Relational Contracts and Organizational Capabilities. Organization Science, 23(5): 1350-1364 (Available via ANU library http://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/orsc.1110.0715)
Dyer, J., & Singh, H. 1998. The relational view: Cooperative strategy and sources of interorganizational competitive advantage, Academy of Management Review, 23(4): 660-679 (Available electronically via ANU library: http://www.jstor.org/stable/259056)
As the first step, you would read these papers carefully. I am aware that some of the articles
are dense, and may not be easily comprehended. That is ok. Our interest is in the overall ideas
of the papers, rather than their intricate technical details. You should then also search for and
gather more journal papers that are relevant to the topic . Naturally, I cannot
assign ALL the relevant papers in a debate as reading material. I have picked and chosen a few
key ones. Your reflective piece would be all the better if you reach out to more papers beyond the
ones that I have recommended.
As the third step, I would like you to sit back and reflect on what you have read. Think about being
in an intellectual cafe, conversing with the group of authors of the papers you have read. What
would you say to them about their collective work. Do you think their collective work is interesting
and important? Is it compelling? Is it exciting? Do you think that, as a group, they have been on
the right track to finding answers to the issues they have been debating? Do you think there
could be ways to integrate their work together? Is there a storyline that connects their work
together? If they invite you to come back again to join them for coffee so they can listen to your
deep insights, what would your comments to them look like? These are some of the questions
that you might keep in mind while reflecting on the papers.
What you need to submit (i.e., your “deliverable”) is your 750 word written version of this
reflection. The word count is exclusive of references, tables, etc. In the written reflection, you
need to include the following:
(a) A title that that you have come up with that clearly implies which of the three sets of readings
you are basing your reflection on
(b) A very brief overview of the papers you have chosen to reflect on (at the minimum, these
should consist of the assigned papers). In the overview, your focus should be on highlighting the
storyline that connects the papers. What we don’t want is a “he said this”, “she said that”
(c ) The larger part of the reflective report should be your own reflections on what you have read.
You need to try and bring precision and coherency into your reflection, and also, you need to try
and demonstrate deeper levels of thinking and insight. You need to say what you might do as a
scholar to either extend the body of work you have just read. For example, you might suggest
ways of evaluating competing arguments or standpoints in the debate. Or, alternatively, you
might suggest ways to integrate the competing viewpoints in the literature into one coherent,
mutually compatible view. Whatever you do, you should try hard to make unique and insightful
observations. Afterall, this is a reflective piece and not a standard essay assignment.
Feel free to use figures, tables, or charts if they better convey your ideas. But do also describe
your figures and charts in the text.
(d) Finally, you need to include full references to all the papers you have read and reflected on in
this piece. Harvard style referencing is what we usually require.
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