Handbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight
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Handbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight

Edited by Laura Anna Costanzo and Robert Bradley MacKay

Drawing together a collection of 29 original chapters, the Handbook makes an invaluable contribution to theory and practice by stimulating disciplined, rigorous and imaginative enquiry into the relationship between strategy and foresight. Leading scholars in the field of strategic management are brought together to offer innovative and multi-disciplinary perspectives on the past, present and future of strategy formation and foresight. In so doing, they challenge research in four key areas: strategy and foresight processes; strategy innovation for the future; understanding the future; and strategically responding to the future.
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Chapter 28: Dynamic Knowledge Creation

Taman H. Powell and Howard Thomas


Taman H. Powell and Howard Thomas Introduction In the dynamic environments faced by many of today’s firms, market positioning can become rapidly obsolete due to new innovations, process improvements and hypercompetitive environments. To successfully compete in these markets, it is argued that firms need to continually create new sources of competitive advantage – but how? Much research in the field has focused on competitive strategy and competitive advantage (Porter, 1980, 1985; McGee and Thomas, 1986) and at the firm level on the characteristics of resources that are of importance to achieve sustainable rents (Barney, 1991; Peteraf, 1993), or how to determine what resources will be crucial to compete in the future (Hamel and Prahalad, 1994). However, this research focuses on the knowledge creation process itself and links the knowledge-based view of the firm to the literatures on the resource-based view and competitive strategy. It illustrates the theoretical arguments with examples from the consulting industry. By focusing on facilitating the knowledge creation process, rather than fortifying current resources, or predicting future strategic resources, this chapter also adopts a somewhat evolutionary approach (Nelson and Winter, 1982) to the development of a knowledge-based view of the firm. If strategy is defined as occupying a unique strategic position, or a ‘viable who–what– how combination’ (Markides, 1999, p. 58), dynamic strategy in firms involves both competing in a current position and also: [searching] continuously for new strategic positions. After identifying another viable strategic position in its industry, the company then must attempt to manage...

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