Cambiamento di paradigma, fonti del vantaggio competitivo ed evoluzione del concetto di strategia (Change of paradigm, sources of competitive advantage and evolution of the concept of strategy)
Keywords:strategy concept, dominant paradigms in strategic management, paradigm change, evolutionary epistemology
Purpose of the paper: This paper aims to identify the foundations of the evolution of the concept of strategy on the ground of detecting the evolutionary history of the dominant paradigms in strategic management.
Methodology: We use the evolutionary approach and evolutionary epistemology, observed as interpretative lenses effective in grasping the succession, integration and internal evolution of the dominant paradigms in strategic management.
Findings: The crux of the argument is that, the concept of strategy is composed by two fundamental parts: the core part, that is relatively abstract and permanent over time, and the peripheral part, that instead changes as relates to the sources of competitive advantage of the dominant paradigms. Actually, since its founding strategic management has developed around relevant paradigms, which have been the lighthouse for the work of researchers in the field. Four are the paradigms of strategy we present: (a) the Structure-Behavior-Performance paradigm; (b) the Resources-Competences-Performance paradigm; (c) the Knowledge-Capabilities-Performance paradigm; and (d) the evolutionary paradigm. Of each paradigm is detected its evolutionary paths, logical structure, causal relationships and specific contribution to the concept of strategy.
Research limits: Exploratory analysis of theoretical-interpretive fashion helpful to complement, with a range of empirical observations grounded in interviews to academics, executive and consultants in strategic management and with bibliometric studies.
Practical implications: We present a few intriguing trends on the change of the traditional units of analysis and the theory of competitive advantage that may have deep impact on business practice.
Originality of the paper: This paper contributes to management literature by shedding new light on the foundations underlying the evolution of the strategy concept and, in more detail, on the four key paradigms triggering the strategy concept variations.
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