Sustaining competitive advantage in a turbulent global economy

Tuesday, 19 February 2013  Features

In a world of constant flux, sustained competitive advantage is becoming increasingly elusive and a firm's capacity for renewal, innovation and adaptation is becoming increasingly important.

Professor Dan Levinthal, from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss the challenges of sustaining competitive advantage in a seminar at the Australian School of Business entitled: The Short Shelf-Life of Competitive Advantage: The Role of Innovation and Adaptation.

Professor Levinthal has been appointed as the Michael J. Crouch Visiting Fellow in Innovation at the Australian School of Business.

"One of the key challenges for managers is to make firms better able to compete today but at the same time get ready for the future. In my research I find that most companies are not able to secure a long-term future," said Associate Professor Peter Murmann, who is organizing Professor Levinthal's visit.

"In 1976 Kodak was the dominant photographic film material company in the world with 90% market share but it filed for bankruptcy last year. Although it invented some of the core digital technologies, Kodak was unable to make the transition to digital photography."

"Only a few years ago Nokia was the leading mobile handset company. Now it is struggling for survival against Apple and Samsung," remarked Associate Professor Murmann. "Professor Levinthal's ideas help us understand why securing the future is so difficult for firms."