The strategic management framework: a methodological and epistemological examination

Omar Aktouf, Miloud Chennoufi and W. David Holford

in Competition, Competitive Advantage, and Clusters

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199578030
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724923 | DOI:
The strategic management framework: a methodological and epistemological examination

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This chapter suggests that while Porter's work is the basis of a systematic approach to strategy, it in no way guarantees the scientific rigor he claims. It offers a two-fold critique concerning the ‘real’ reasons for the success enjoyed by Porter's work. At the ideological level it is argued that Porter's work legitimizes the current state of relations of force within and between firms operating in advanced capitalist economies, allowing dominant incumbents to draw arguments and reasons of a scientific nature to justify their domination. At the operational level, it is argued that his work offers ease of comprehension, relative ease of implementation, and subsequent gratification from initial operational successes. It is suggested operational successes derived from Porter's frameworks do not assure the achievement of a lasting, defensible, and non-easily imitable competitive advantage.

Keywords: Michael Porter; strategic management; five forces; competitive advantage

Chapter.  7345 words. 

Subjects: Business Strategy

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