Reconceptualization and Synthesis
John A. Parnell
Texas A & M University-Commerce
Research on the nature of the competitive strategy-performance relationship has focused primarily on traditional, brick and mortar businesses. Although competitive strategy theory is applicable to the new economy, generic strategy typologies do not account for the opportunities and challenges that this economy has presented to strategic managers. This paper reticulates three critical debates in the field--IO/resource-based theory, strategic groups, and combination strategies and performance--into a business strategy framework specifically applied to businesses operating in the digital, knowledge-based economy. Challenges for future research are presented. INTRODUCTION
The strategic management literature is replete with strategy typologies, research methodologies, and theories on the strategy-performance relationship. In general, researchers have demonstrated that strategies that emphasize quality, incorporate a product or service's distinctive competencies, and focus on the core business are most likely to result in superior firm performance (Dacko & Sudharshan, 1996). Advances in the field notwithstanding, however, a consensus concerning the precise nature of competitive strategy and its relationship to business performance has not yet emerged (Mauri & Michaels, 1998), and recent changes in social, technological, and economic factors suggest that this relationship be revisited. This paper proposes a competitive strategy typology for the new economy. The remainder of the paper is divided into four main sections. First, an historical development of business strategy research is presented, including discussions on the industrial organization (IO) perspective, strategy typologies, the combination strategy debate, and resource-based theory. Second, the strategic implications of recent social, technological, and...