Strategies for Companies in Supply Chains with turbulent environments

Abstract: The borderless world is providing new opportunities for conducting business, both within Europe and between continents. Sustainable competition will be harder to attain and competition will become fiercer, day-by-day. The Austrian school of strategy emphasizes change, continuous innovation, and entrepreneurial discovery as sources of supernormal profits. An important assumption is that these supernormal profits are not sustainable. Richard D’Aveni’s (1994) concept of hypercompetition is based on the same assumption about the nature of competitive advantage. In order to explore D’Aveni’s model for hypercompetition through obtaining empirical evidences, the model is tested on three different markets. This is described in four papers, which have been presented at four different conferences. As the model by D’Aveni on hypercompetition can still be regarded as new, it has been important to do in depth theoretical studies as well as several field studies to validate if the model really is applicable. The objects are business relations and the strategies behind these business relations. The overall purpose of this thesis is to explore if new insights into strategic management of companies can be gained by the application of D’Aveni’s framework for hypercompetition, with particular focus on the following two research questions; • How has each of the D’Aveni’s 7 S’s been made operational in the case studies? • Can D’Aveni’s 7 S’s provide guidance on choice of methods and concepts for handling turbulence in supply chains? The case studies start from a truck transportation perspective, as nearly everything we in some way consume has been partly transported on a truck. A product that is greatly influenced by the new open borderlines in Europe is the tomato, which during darker half the year is imported and during the brighter season is produced in Sweden, but under strong import competition. These tomatoes have to be transported through the viii whole supply chain in some type of transport packaging. How can you act to get control over these supply chains? Learning about the model does not make it mandatory to use it. Instead the model can be used for analysing and understanding what is happening or what is at risk to happen in a business sector. The findings and theoretical construct in this thesis are intended to be used in a manager’s toolbox at all levels of an organisation.

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