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Long Range Planning

32/6 December 1999



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Charles Baden-Fuller Editorial

Strategies for Changing Competition

J. P.Shay and F. T. Rothaermel ‘Dynamic Competitive Strategy: Towards a Multi-perspective Conceptual Framework' ftr@msu.edu

    Strategic managers face a myriad of challenges due to the rapid nature of change and increasing complexity of today's competitive environment. Although literature in the field of strategic management has offered many perspectives on how to meet these challenges, managers today would benefit from strategic analysis tools that foster an understanding of the competitive environment from multiple perspectives. This paper provides insights into the synergetic nature of competing strategic analysis perspectives and offers an integrated model that not only synthesises the most prominent perspectives but also captures the dynamic nature of today's competitive environment.

T. C. Lawton ‘The Limits of Price Leadership: Needs-based Positioning Strategy and the Long-term Competitiveness of Europe's Low Fare Airlines' t.lawton@rhbnc.ac.uk

    This article argues that a strategy of low operating costs and cheap prices is not sufficient in and of itself to establish long-term competitive advantage for a growing company. Companies also need to leverage their distinctive corporate capabilities and unique experiences. In the case of service sector companies such as airlines, capabilities derive from the relationship which exists between the company, its employees and its customers, as well as the reputation which is gradually established on the basis of reliability and quality of service. Unique experiences arise from the corporate culture and route network which an airline builds over time.

P. Freathy and F. O'Connell ‘Power, Planning and Profit: the Commercialization of European Airports' j.p.freathy@stir.ac.uk

    This article examines the main factors that lie behind the expansion of commercial activities in European airports. It maintains that airport authorities have been forced to react to a variety of external pressures over which they have no control. This has led to a number of airports reassessing their strategic priorities in favour of a more commercially orientated approach. This article highlights how this refocusing has manifested itself in terms of the design, layout and allocation of commercial space within an airport. In addition it examines how this change has increased the role and prominence of commercial management.

The Governance of Smaller Businesses

S. Birley, D. Ng and A. Godfrey ‘The Family and the Business' s.birley@ic.ac.uk

    This article explores the attitudes of owner–managers to the conflicting pressures of family and business. 534 owner–managers responded to a questionnaire that asked about their attitudes to a range of issues including, for example, succession and equity, children's involvement in the business, and the extent to which family should expect income from the business. There was common agreement on some issues such as the fact that children should be allowed to choose whether to join the business, and that family and business affairs should be kept separate. Beyond this, there were disagreements with three clear groups, or clusters, of attitudes emerging. We have called these the ‘Family–Business Jugglers', ‘Family Rules', and ‘Family Out' groups

Tung-Chun Huang ‘Who Shall Follow? Factors Affecting the Adoption of Succession Plans in Taiwan' tch@im.mgt.ncu.edu.tw

    Succession Planning is widely believed to help business organisations with internal resourcing, reduce attrition of the work force caused by job-hopping high-fliers, and prepare qualified candidates for appointment to senior management positions. It is further known that when organisations fail to treat their succession plans as living documents, they may not only threaten their own continuity but also lose the opportunity to revitalise themselves. Even so, succession planning has been slow to take root in traditional Chinese businesses, which have been noted for their informal organisation, top-down decision making and emphasis on personal ties and relationships. However, rapid growth and increasingly tougher competition may force these firms to change their style of management. This study assesses the extent to which formal succession planning has taken hold among Taiwanese business firms, and identifies factors underlying the decision to adopt a formal plan. For those local firms that have not introduced formal planning, it seeks to determine the concerns that have inhibited or prevented them from doing so. Finally, this paper attempts to detect differences that may exist between Chinese- and foreign-owned firms in the tendency to adopt succession plans.

CEO Interview

James Kelly An Interview with Win Bischoff Chairman and CEO, Schroders plc. james.n.kelly@cgey.com

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