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Do Porter’s ideas on national competitive advantage: Which specific nations have achieved economic success?

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Paul B.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Competitiveness
  3. National competitiveness
  4. Factor conditions
  5. Home demand conditions
  6. Supporting industries
  7. Firm strategy and rivalry
  8. Criticism of Porter's ideas
  9. Conclusion
  10. Bibliography

National competitiveness is one of the most important economic concepts as it outlines as to how a nation can grow and succeed by utilizing its competitiveness. Competitiveness, therefore refers to the concept of how a nation produces its goods and services- the relative efficiency of producing them defines the overall competitiveness of a nation. It is also termed as a nation's ability to create sustainable value which results into overall improvements in the standards of living of people of the nation. As such, the competitiveness itself is a much bigger concept which embodies many socio-political as well as socio-economic factors into it.
With the increase in globalization trends, economy is largely being viewed as a collection of states, individuals and firm and as such the collective competitiveness of all the entities of a nation give rise to its competitiveness and increased ability to compete in an international market. Michael Porter's theories on international competitiveness of the countries are largely based on the strategic perspective and lack the solid economic foundations. As such from the perspective of economics- in the words of Paul Krugman that ?Competitiveness is meaningless word when applied to national economies?. However, despite such criticism, the theories of national competitiveness, especially of Michael Porter's are considered as one of the cornerstones of research on the subject. Porter's ideas attempt to define the means through which the sustainable competitive advantage can be achieved by an economy.
This research paper will focus on the ideas of Michael Porter on how to achieve national competitiveness and whether his ideas have actually provided the means to achieve the competitive advantage by which specific nations have achieved success.

[...] The establishment of export processing zones in developing countries is a very ample example of how despite not having favorable home demand conditions, nations can achieve sustainable competitive advantage based on their ability to offer cheap labor. As such it is also not important that all the factors may work together to create that advantage as one seems to compensate other. Supporting Industries Supporting industries are considered as necessary for achieving the international competitiveness whereas firm strategy describes how the firms are organized and compete with each other and in an international market. [...]


[...] National Competitiveness National Competitiveness is one of the controversial issues as it has failed to gain the proper appreciation from the academic circles specially economists seem to have rejected the idea out rightly. However, despite this the concept has been able to gain widespread support as well as criticism from different quarters. Porter's studies were based on the research conducted on 10 nations in order to understand the factors behind the success of a nation. The basic assumption behind this study was the growing dissatisfaction with the existing theories of comparative advantage as Porter believed that they are either inadequate to meet the demands of current wave of revolution into the industrial world, or they were wrong at all because they failed to predict what actually derives the competitiveness of a nation. [...]


[...] Based on his research he developed the Diamond Model which is based on firm factors which together can provide a nation a sustainable competitive advantage. These six elements are: Factors conditions. Demand conditions Firm strategy, structure, and rivalry. Related and supporting industries Factor Conditions The factors conditions determine the nation's position in terms of its factors of production such as land, labor, capital, technology and are considered as necessary to compete in industry. According to Porter, the most important factors of production are those which involve heavy and sustained investment and are specialized in nature. [...]

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