Title: Competitive advantage and firm performance: evidence from small and medium enterprises

Authors: Jeen Wei Ong; Hishamuddin Bin Ismail

Addresses: Faculty of Business and Law, Multimedia University, Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama, 75450 Melaka, Malaysia. ' Faculty of Business and Law, Multimedia University, Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama, 75450 Melaka, Malaysia

Abstract: This study aims to examine the relationship between competitive advantage and firm performance in the context of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The dominant theories in strategic management views competitive advantage as firm performance but the opposition claims that it is a firms' capability to acquiring superior performance. The latter claims that competitive advantage could lead to firm performance but many other factors might alter the relationship. Previous studies have examined the impact of competitive advantage on firm performance but not on SMEs. The analysis on the 365 set of usable data collected from the SME owner-managers using questionnaire survey shows that differentiation has positive impact on firm performance but with relatively lower impact compared to previous studies. Lower cost is found to have negative effect on customer retention but the effect is not significant. Based on the findings of the study, SMEs are advised to construct their competitive advantage around differentiation.

Keywords: competitive advantage; firm performance; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; strategic management; SME performance; differentiation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBG.2012.048960

International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 2012 Vol.9 No.2, pp.195 - 206

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 04 Sep 2012 *

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