Investigating flexibility and information technology as key elements for competitive advantage

Guilherme Guedes Xavier About the author

Abstract

"Time" has been appointed as a new source of Competitive Advantage (CA) and following this trend flexibility, that is deeply related to quick responses for changes in the environment, becomes a key element for CA Using survey data collected from 212 manufacturing companies in US, we investigate the importance of flexibility and Information Technology (IT) as major elements in achieving CA. We identify CA from performance measures related to market growth, market share and profitability. Flexibility is evaluated using manufacturing and product development perspectives, emphasizing changes in these two business functions. The study also looks at the relationship between the integration of Information Systems (IS) and introduction of Information Technology (IT), and key variables for CA The results support the hypothesis that flexibility is related to the measures of CA and show that IS/IT is primarily related to the service dimension


Investigating flexibility and information technology as key elements for competitive advantage

Guilherme Guedes Xavier

Boston University

ABSTRACT

"Time" has been appointed as a new source of Competitive Advantage (CA) and following this trend flexibility, that is deeply related to quick responses for changes in the environment, becomes a key element for CA Using survey data collected from 212 manufacturing companies in US, we investigate the importance of flexibility and Information Technology (IT) as major elements in achieving CA. We identify CA from performance measures related to market growth, market share and profitability. Flexibility is evaluated using manufacturing and product development perspectives, emphasizing changes in these two business functions. The study also looks at the relationship between the integration of Information Systems (IS) and introduction of Information Technology (IT), and key variables for CA The results support the hypothesis that flexibility is related to the measures of CA and show that IS/IT is primarily related to the service dimension.

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Acknowledgments

The author grateful acknowledge professors Jay S. Kim from Boston University, US and Mark Frolich from the London School of Economics, UK for allowing him to access the data from the 1994 US Manufacturing Future Survey. The author would also like to thank the assistance from professors Lee Sproull from Boston University, US and Alain Villeneuve from University of Sherbrook, Canada for their comments and suggestions in a first version of this paper. Finally, the author would like to acknowledge the support received from the Brazilian Agency of Post-Graduate Studies - CAPES under the grant no 058-94-02

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    19 Oct 2010
  • Date of issue
    Dec 1997
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