دانلود رایگان مقاله لاتین اثر راهبرد رقابتی شرکت کوچک بر مشارکت اجتماعی از سایت الزویر
عنوان فارسی مقاله:
تاثیر استراتژی های رقابتی شرکت های کوچک بر روی مشارکت اجتماعی و محیطی آنها
عنوان انگلیسی مقاله:
The effect of small firms' competitive strategies on their community and environmental engagement
سال انتشار : 2016
بخشی از مقاله انگلیسی:
2. Theoretical background
This section first explains the difference between differentiation and cost-leadership strategies and how both relate to CSR. It then addresses the specificities of social responsibility in a small-firm context. 2.1. Competitive advantage through differentiation and costleadership strategies Porter (1980) maintains that a firm's long-term, above-average performance is based on its ability to achieve one of two basic types of competitive advantage d differentiation or low cost. Particularly, because a firm wants to sell its products (or services) at a price higher than the unit cost of production, it can either differentiate its product and command a premium price or produce the product at a lower cost than its competitors (Ortega, 2010). Strategy scholars have approached firm strategic posture in two ways. Some take an anatomical view (Dess and Davis, 1984; Hambrick, 1983) and consider differentiation and cost-leadership as two separate types of strategies. This position is consistent with Porter's original conceptualization in which a firm should focus on pursuing either of these two strategies in a pure form. In a sharp contrast, others (Beal and Yasai-Ardekani, 2000; Gopalakrishna and Subramanian, 2001) view cost-leadership and differentiation as two dimensions of a firm's strategy and argue that in light of the dynamism and turbulence of the contemporary business environment, firms should integrate elements of cost-leadership and differentiation and thus pursue hybrid or combinativedas opposed to puredstrategies. The case for combinative strategies has gained acceptance in the practitioners' world through the concept of a strategy clock (Bowman and Faulkner, 1997). However, what is meant by differentiation and cost leadership? Differentiation refers the creation of a product or service that is somehow unique from its competitors. It can be achieved through design or brand image (e.g., Ikea), technology (e.g., BMW), customer service, or other features that are valuable to customers. Additionally, a firm may choose a multi-differentiation path. An iPhone, for example, would fall into this category because Apple seeks to differentiate itself via technology, brand image, and customer service. Ultimately, differentiation aims to create brand loyalty, which in turn gives rise to price inelasticity, and enables the firm to command a premium price for its products. Successful differentiation can create competitive barriers to entry for a firm's potential competitors, while providing a firm with higher sale margins. Notably, in pursuit of differentiation, a firm must commit to costly activities, such as extensive research, product design, and marketing expenditures, which Porter (1980) argues will often make a differentiation-focused firm a high-cost producer. How CSR helps a firm in its pursuit of differentiation has been discussed in the literature. Reinhardt (1998), for example, stressed the need to integrate environmental actions with a firm's overall strategy to harness the potential for product differentiation. Recently, Dangelico and Pujari (2010) concluded that CSR activities can help a firm develop a unique reputation and image. In a similar vein, others have attributed to CSR the potential to contribute to product differentiation for which customers will pay a premium (Lin et al., 2013; McWilliams and Siegel, 2001). In contrast to differentiation, a cost-leadership focus, by defi- nition, means that a firm aspires to become the lowest cost producer in its industry. This typically entails, “construction of efficient-scale facilities, rigorous pursuit of cost reductions from experience, tight cost and overhead control, avoidance of marginal customer accounts, and cost minimization in areas such as research and development (R & D), service, sales force, advertising, and so on” (Porter, 1980: 35). Cost control is at the heart of a costleadership strategy, which allows a firm to fetch above-average returns (Miller and Friesen, 1986). A cost-leadership focused firm strives to create internal efficiencies and, therefore, has a narrow scope of search emphasis (Hrebiniak and Joyce, 1985). That is, it is often confined to finding ways to lower cost curves and increase internal efficiencies (Pelham, 1999). Such a firm builds market share via aggressive pricing and aims to maximize economies of scale. Its products are designed for easy, mass manufacturing, and it relies on state-of-the-art technologies and equipment that maximize manufacturing efficiency. In the end, cost leaders focus on price and price-conscious customers. The existing CSR literature has presented a multi-faceted view of the interplay between CSR and a firm's cost-leadership pursuits. Several studies have attributed a potential to reduce a firm's overall business costs to CSR (Epstein and Roy, 2001). While some have viewed CSR as a mechanism through which a firm could gain operational efficiency (e.g., waste management), others have considered how it could help a firm to reduce several transaction costs (Orlitzky et al., 2011). However, previous literature has not considered whether firms' strategic choices affect their CSR engagement, which, in turn, could indicate their proclivity to leverage CSR in their strategic pursuits. In the hypothesis section, we will explore this matter in the context of small firms. Before doing this, though, it is important to outline the salient features of small firms' social responsibility behavior.
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