The formation of a firm's core competence and its development: an analysis with a special reference to North East England firms
This paper provides remarkable insight into the structural components of a firm's core competence and its development via research and development (R&D) activities for innovation and exporting activities.Design/methodology/approachThe authors have used a positivist design and a deductive methodology. The authors have examined the extant literature developing a theoretical framework to empirically investigate the relationships between a firm's core competence, organisational learning (OL), tacitness, dynamic capability and R&D activities. To carry out this investigation, the authors have collected stratified sample data from 330 firms operating in North East England, a peripheral region of England.FindingsThe authors have found that there are indeed significant statistical relationships between these structural components, R&D activities and a firm's core competence, and this nexus is pertinent to innovation and exporting. Furthermore, it is found that North East England is significantly constrained by the lack of finance, technological capability, experts and brain drain. Based on these findings, the authors propose a cooperative R&D framework to narrow down these constraints to assist firms in developing core competencies for innovation and exporting in peripheral regions.Social implicationsThere is an urgent need to investigate the incidence of knowledge-driven activities, R&D, the extent of innovation and exporting activities of firms operating in North East England, a peripheral region of the United Kingdom (UK).Originality/valueThis study provides an original and systematic investigation of the firm's core competence and its formation via key structural components for innovation and exporting within an empirical framework.