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Strategy and Competitive Advantage

Strategy and Competitive Advantage

Time for you to consider one of the great business contests of the past century: Apple vs. Amazon.  Using what we have learned in the course thus far about strategy, competition, competitive advantage, industry forces, and the ways companies compete (cost vs. differentiation), you address the contest in a single essay about some aspect of strategic direction.  Select a tool or point of view to apply to the case; here are some suggested questions (answering one should be sufficient):

 

Are these two companies competitors?   Are they in the same industry?  How do they stack up against our text’s frameworks of achieving Competitive Advantage – either Michael Porter’s Industrial Organization framework or the Resource-based framework?  You can use one framework to compare and contrast the two companies.

 

As a refresher, Porter’s “Industrial Organization framework” is simply using his “Five Forces Model to identify competitive advantage of the firm(s) involved; in other words, you look external to the firm to the source of competitive advantage.  On the other hand, the“Resource-based framework” looks internally – it uses the VRIO model of Valuable, Rare, Inimitable, and Organizationally usable resources to identify competitive advantage that arises from characteristics internal to the firm.  Pretty intuitive stuff!

 

Structure:Please break your paper up with boldface section headings so that I can follow your organization and reasoning.

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Category: Sample Questions