Resilience as a source of competitive advantage for small information technology companies

Schlemmer, Frank and Webb, Brian (2006). Resilience as a source of competitive advantage for small information technology companies. In: Donnellan, B.; Larsen, T.; DeGross, J. and Levine, L. eds. The Transfer and Diffusion of Information Technology for Organizational Resilience. IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, 206. Boston, US: Springer, pp. 181–197.




Resilience, defined as the capacity for continuous reconstruction, is based on Hamel’s earlier work on core competencies. We deploy the resilience concept to explain the performance differentials of small information technology companies. Our interviews with owner-managers suggest that the resilience concept is insufficient to account for competitive advantage and suggest that a sole focus on core competencies can even create competitive disadvantage. In particular, those managers that focused too much on their own core competencies and ignored market developments and other stakeholders created competitive disadvantages. We therefore suggest that resilience can only be a source of competitive advantage if it is extended with the option of replacing core competencies. In addition, core competencies frequently have to be supplemented by competencies of partners or customers in order to achieve competitive advantage.

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