Purpose – This paper aims to look at corporate vulnerability – a concept unexplored in literature. It analyzes how firms develop vulnerability as a result of past strategic decisions and business practices like global sourcing, outsourcing, business models, manufacturing practices, diversification, etc. Design/methodology/approach – This paper relies on cross-disciplinary theories from natural hazard management and strategy literature to put forth a definition of strategic vulnerability and its dimensions. Findings – Strategic vulnerability is seen as a multidimensional construct having at least three attributes: Tangible resources that capture the physical assets dimension; Capabilities are the skills, learning and knowledge part; and Fitness that represents the collective ability of an organization to cope with external and internal challenges. Further, vulnerabilities remain inherent in the firm, and may not be visible until organizations face some external stress or adverse scenario. Research limitations/implications – The framework needs further empirical testing through case studies or other methodologies to bring forth managerial reflections on the three dimensions identified in the paper. Originality/value – Strategic vulnerability framework helps managers to analyze the dimensions that make strategic position of firms vulnerable to existing or emerging competition. Based on the vulnerability analysis, managers can initiate actions to improve competitive positioning of their firms.
Journal of Business Strategy – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 17, 2014
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