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Strategies For Competitive Differentiation In Sustainable Fisheries And Marine Ecosystem Conservation
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By Uyen Nguyen Thi Uyen Nguyen Thi Scilit Preprints.org Google Scholar 1 , Manh Hoang Van Manh Hoang Van Scilit Preprints.org Google Scholar 2, * , Imran Mahmoud Imran Mahmoud Scilit Preprints.org Google Scholar 3 and Linh Wu Thi Thucilitinit Preprints.org Google Scholar 4
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Received: 9 April 2023 / Revised: 10 June 2023 / Accepted: 20 June 2023 / Published: 4 July 2023
This study examines the impact of strategy-level innovation on process and system-level innovation, considered as forms of functional-level innovation based on the strategy formulation approach. The study also shows the impact of process and system innovation on the sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) of young enterprises in Vietnam. The study used primary data from a survey of 289 young business leaders in Vietnam. PLS-SEM was used to assess the ability of the measurement model and the structural model to test the hypotheses using SmartPLS software. The results showed that four hypotheses about the effect of strategy innovation on process and system innovation and the effect of process and system innovation on SCA of young enterprises in Vietnam were confirmed. These important results fill a research gap in young firms, especially in the context of developing countries. The current study addresses the significant impact of the adoption of innovation practices in young firms on the firm’s SCA. Accordingly, young companies can significantly strengthen their sustainable competitive advantage through innovative practices at both the strategy and operational levels.
Innovation is a practice by which a company develops a product, service, process or system to meet market needs [1, 2, 3]. Although innovation has received a lot of attention in recent years, previous studies on innovation have mainly focused on the impact of innovation aspects at functional levels such as product innovation, service innovation and market innovation on organizational outcomes [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Innovation lacks empirical studies that examine vertical effects, from the strategy level to the functional level, and firm outcomes using a strategy implementation approach.
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Most previous research on global innovation focuses on large or mature companies, although SMEs or young businesses are more flexible in innovation, especially in changing customer needs and environmental conditions. Many previous researchers believe that SMEs do not have enough resources and capabilities to implement innovative ideas . This stems from the view that large companies have more resources and capabilities and therefore can create a better basis for using innovative projects as well as using technology and benefiting from economies of scale and diversification of resources. However, some recent studies have shown the benefits of innovation practices for small businesses. In particular, some authors such as [2, 3] show that many innovation methods are also suitable and beneficial for SMEs, such as product innovation, organizational innovation and market innovation. Accordingly, several studies have initially shown a positive effect of innovation on competitive advantage or other indicators of SME performance [ 9 , 10 , 11 ]. However, there is a lack of modern research on young companies and a lack of theoretical and practical guidance for this industrial group [12, 13].
Young organizations have their own characteristics that must be taken into account, even though they are considered as an essential part of the SME group. If the research model of innovation is designed only for young firms, guidance on the innovation practices of young firms is more appropriate.
In addition, according to the resource theory of the VRIN framework [14, 15], exploiting and using innovation capabilities as valuable, rare, unique and non-replaceable (VRIN) capabilities, with the limited resources of most young companies. A key way any company can develop a sustainable competitive advantage. The importance of innovation in young firms is strongly supported by the resource-based view (RBV) theory because an effective innovation capability can be a core competency that fulfills all VRIN requirements (value, scarcity, irreplaceability and -variable). However, it can be clearly seen that there is a research gap in previous studies regarding the impact of innovation on the competitive advantages of young businesses. In particular, one of the authors explores an approach to innovation evaluation from the strategy level to the functional level based on the strategic implementation approach. Therefore, we examined the vertical relationship between strategy innovation, process and system innovation, including the link between functional innovation practices and the sustainable competitive advantage of young companies, from a strategy implementation perspective.
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In conclusion, the purpose of this study was to examine the vertical impact of strategy innovation on process and system innovation as well as the impact of process and system innovation on the sustainable competitive advantage of young firms. The study was conducted in the context of Vietnam, which is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. Using the developed research model, we want to answer the following research questions (RQ):
RQ2. How can process and system innovation create a sustainable competitive advantage for young companies operating in Vietnam?
To answer the questions, the rest of the article is organized as follows: First, the basic theory, research model and hypothesis development are defined. Second, a measurement model is presented that includes three types of innovation and competitive advantage. Third, the model is tested with data collected from young company leaders. Finally, this study discusses the relationship of innovation with different levels and competitive advantages.
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In this study, the research model was built based on the combination of two basic theories. The first was the RBV mentioned above. RBV strongly advocates the exploitation of innovation as a core competency and is mainly used by young companies to maintain competitive advantage. Resource theory (here RBV) suggests that “all assets, capabilities, firm characteristics, information, knowledge, etc. that are controlled by the firm, enable the firm to think and implement strategies that improve its performance. Effectiveness ” [14, 15]. This theory also suggests that competitive advantage can be created through specific resources or capabilities that are valuable, rare in the market, incomparable or non-substitutable. RBV is supported to maintain competitive advantage for a company [16, 17].
Another theory that is used for this study is the theory of fit for strategy implementation. This, considering an uncertain environment to guide the direction of the firm, requires vertical alignment between function and strategy. Whole process and system-level innovation must be combined with innovation at a strategic level. In strategy implementation, this vertical alignment between the functional level and the policy level is important to ensure that the strategy is implemented effectively at lower levels. The current literature examines the function of HRM, which is strongly recommended for further empirical research in various studies [18, 19]. Thus, a comprehensive empirical study on vertical fit in the innovation function provides important evidence to enrich existing knowledge of innovation and policy implementation.
Competitive advantages are developed from VRIN (valuable, rare, irreplaceable and non-substitutable [14, 15]) resources or capabilities. If competitive advantage arises from VRIN resources, it is also considered a sustainable competitive advantage because it is valuable, rare, unique. Therefore, the competitive advantage derived from this VRIN resource or capability can be maintained for a long time without being replaced by competitors [14, 15]. Sustainable competitive advantage is a broad concept used in strategic management, and this concept works as an important predictor of company performance [16, 17].
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In the context of intense competition and limited resources, innovation
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