Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policies for Growth
Edited by David B. Audretsch and Mary Lindenstein Walshok
Chapter 1: Creating competitiveness: introduction and overview
Competitiveness is a concept that is most readily identified with firms and organizations. A competitive firm can enjoy sustained levels of high profitability. By contrast, a paucity of competitiveness may doom a firm to eroding rates of return and, ultimately, bankruptcy or insolvency. It is not surprising that an entire scholarly discipline within the field of management has devoted itself to understanding what firms and organizations can do to improve their competitiveness, and ultimately their performance. However, firms are not the only organizational body whose performance is dependent upon being competitive. The varied economic performance of cities and regions, both within a single nation, as well as across nations, during the era of the Great Recession also highlights the need for competitiveness. Those cities and regions that are more competitive enjoy a superior economic performance, while their less competitive counterparts suffer from lower rates of economic growth and increasing levels of unemployment. During the massive economic expansion of the 1990s, there was a sense that ‘all boats are lifted by a rising tide.’ As long as the overall economy grew so impressively, most cities, states and regions were also able to enjoy an improving economic performance.