Systemic Requirements for the Development of Competitive Capability: Lessons from a New Zealand Study of Competitive Advantage

  • John Davies


This paper reports on an ongoing study of the evolution of competitive capability in a set of exemplar New Zealand enterprises. The project has involved case-research (Eisenhardt, 1989) and historiographic studies (Goodman and Kruger, 1988) of a set of New Zealand enterprises over the full span of their history. These organisations have displayed a consistent ability to thrive over several decades of their history under different economic regimes, and include companies that have leading global positions in their specialist markets (See Appendix 1 for a list of firms).


Organisational Design Adaptive Learning Strategic Management Journal Viable System Model Viable System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Argyris, C., and Schon, D.A. (1978). Organizational Learning: a Theory of Action perspective, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.Google Scholar
  2. Barney, J. (1991). “Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage”Journal of Management, 17:99–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beer, S. (1979). The Heart of the Enterprise, Wiley, Chichester.Google Scholar
  4. Beer, S. (1981). Brain of the Firm, (2nd edition), Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  5. Beer, S. (1985). Diagnosing the System for Organisation, Wiley, Chichester.Google Scholar
  6. Brocklesby, J., (2001). “The Evolution of Competitive capability: a Biological Perspective”, in World-famous in New Zealand: How New Zealand’s Leading Firms became World-Class Competitors, (C. Campbell-Hunt et al. eds), Auckland University Press, Auckland NZ..Google Scholar
  7. Brocklesby, J., Cummings, S., and Davies, J. (1995). “Demystifying the Viable System Model as a Tool for Organisational Analysis”, Asia Pacific Journal of Operational Research, 25(l):65–86.Google Scholar
  8. Burrell, G., and Morgan, G. (1979). Sociological paradigms and organizational analysis, Heinemann, London.Google Scholar
  9. Campbell-Hunt, C., and Corbett, L.M. (1996). A Season of Excellence?, New Zealand Institute for Economic Research, Wellington.Google Scholar
  10. Cummings, S., and Davies, J. (1994). “Vision, Mission and Fusion”Long Range Planning, 27(6): 147–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Davies, J. (1999). “The Effective Organisation of National Sports Bodies in NZ - a Systems Perspective”in Sports Management in New Zealand, (L. Trenberth, and C. Collins, eds), Dunmore Press, Palmerston North.Google Scholar
  12. Eisenhardt, K.M. (1989). “Building Theories from Case Study Research”Academy of Management Review, 14:532–550.Google Scholar
  13. François, C.O. (1999). “Systems and Cybernetics in a Historical Perspective”Systems Res & Behavioural Sci, l6(3):203–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gioia, D.A., and Pitre, E. (1990). “Multiparadigm Perspectives on Theory Building”Academy of Management Review, 15:584–602.Google Scholar
  15. Goodman, R.S., and Kruger, E.J. (1988). “Data Dredging or Legitimate Research Method? Historiography and its Potential for Management Research”Academy of Management Review, 13:315–325.Google Scholar
  16. Kay, J. (1993). Foundations of Corporate Success, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  17. Maturana, H., and Varela, F. (1987). The Tree of Knowledge - The biological roots of human understanding, Shambhala, Boston.Google Scholar
  18. Miller, D. (1996). “Configurations Revisited”Strategic Management Journal, 17:505–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nonaka, I., and Takeuchi, H. (1995). The Knowledge Creating Company, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  20. Peteraf, M.A. (1993). “The Cornerstones of Competitive Advantage”Strategic Management Journal, 14:179–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Porter, M.E. (1996). “What is Strategy?,” Harvard Business Review, Nov-December:61–78.Google Scholar
  22. Shenhav, Y. (1995). “From chaos to systems: the engineering foundations of organization theory, 1879–1932”Administrative Science Quarterly, 40:557–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Business and Public ManagementVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations