RAM. Revista de Administração Mackenzie
versão On-line ISSN 1678-6971
MACIEL, Cristiano Oliveira e SILVA, Eduardo Damião. Organizational capabilities and performance in a geographically concentrated sector with low differentiation potential. RAM, Rev. Adm. Mackenzie [online]. 2012, vol.13, n.1, pp. 172-199. ISSN 1678-6971. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1678-69712012000100008.
This article's objective was to investigate the relationship between capabilities and performance in a geographically concentrated sector, with numerous and neighboring competitors, in a group of small organizations and, therefore, with high resource constraints and frequently without professional management capabilities compared to large firms. The theoretical framework of the paper is the Resource Based Theory. The context chosen for the study was a collection of retail clothing stores in a main avenue downtown Curitiba, Paraná. Initially, managers and owners of the retail stores were interviewed to verify the most important capabilities in this geographical market segment, which are: image, customers, prices and financial management. Considering this taxonomy, hypotheses were elaborated and tested using Structural Equation Modeling. The results allow us to conclude that price and financial management capabilities are more important to produce positive effects over performance. The discussion of results highlights contingent aspects of the association between resources and performance in these organizations and also the reason for retail stores managers and owners to suggest some capabilities that not have a direct impact over performance as source of the competitive advantage. It is possible to conclude, due to the low potential of differentiation of the organizations that participated in the study, that the capabilities named Price and Finance are the only ones with significant influence on performance variation when compared to capabilities Image and Clients. Another finding that deserves note it was the fact that retailers interviewed pointed the capabilities Clients and Image, that empirically are not related to performance variation, as sources of competitive advantages. It is argued here that this happens because of the causal ambiguity that marks the relation between resources and performance in strategist judgement.
Palavras-chave : Capabilities; Performance; Retail; Geographic concentration; Differentiation potential.