Strategic leadership in turbulent markets
Abstract: High-tech gadgets is a technology-intensive market that is highly profitable and very dynamic. Competition in this market is very intense and the market winner is unpredictable. In order to remain a market leader or to become one, a company should build a competitive advantage over his market rivals. In this study the authors would like to understand what market strategy make companies successful and what are the constituents of this strategy. To answer these questions a literature study was conducted with the goal to find market strategies that are representative for the dynamic market conditions. As a result several hypotheses for the market strategy and market leadership were derived. The multiple-case study method was used in order to ensure that by comparing single cases the optimal strategy is chosen. Three companies were chosen from the mobile phone market as representative examples due to recent changes in market leading position that involved them all: Apple succeeded mobile phone market leader Nokia in the smart-phone design, and Samsung succeeded Apple in the smart-phone design and Nokia in total mobile-phone market. Data collection was gained from the corporate sources of investigated companies, known financial institutions, and open source and published scientific journals. Subsequently, the hypotheses were verified by verification of internal and external validities, and the final market strategies with their constituents were derived. A major finding of the study is in showing empirically that both strategies [market-driven and driving-markets] can be successful, but they are company profile dependent [in this study: design-based and manufacturing-based]. Market leadership is independent of the market strategy and is highly dependent on the core competencies that are nourished by top-management. Therefore, as core competences are not specifically defined in this study, the managers should seek a way on how to induce the organization change for stimulating the creativity and innovativeness in the company - building an innovative culture. Market strategies proposed in this study can then be used as guidelines, but not as the prescription.
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