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Competitive advantage in public sector organizations : explaining the public good/sustainable competitive advantage paradox

  • Matthews, Judy H.
  • Shulman, Arthur D.
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2005
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive
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Resource based views of the firm and in particular Kay’s (1995) model of sustainable competitive advantage have been used to advance an understanding of differences in the competitive advantage of private sector firms. We extend the analysis to a public sector firm where its major purpose includes engaging in public good by giving away its knowledge base and services. The case highlights the paradox that many public sector organisations face in simultaneously pursuing public good and sustainable competitive advantage. While Kay’s model is applicable for understanding intergovernmental agency competition, we find it necessary to incorporate Resource Dependency Theory to address the paradox. Implications for theory and practice are provided.

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