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Discussion – Competitive Advantage

Discussion – Competitive Advantage

The Four Building Blocks of Competitive Advantage

The four building blocks of competitive advantage include customer responsiveness, innovation, quality, and efficiency (Kang, 2019). The four building blocks are related because they result from the performance of value-chain activities in the organization. For example, innovation influences the quality of products and services delivered to customers, leading to positive or negative customer responsiveness. Efficiency also influences customer responsiveness based on how soon the products get to the customers. Organizations may also use their value-chain activities to achieve superior quality, efficiency, innovation, and customer responsiveness to lower cost structures and differentiate products to create more customer value and achieve competitive advantage (Kang, 2019). Therefore, each building block complements the other to achieve a competitive advantage.

The Role of Top Management

According to Hill & Schilling (2024), achieving superior efficiency requires using few inputs to produce a specific output, thus reducing cost structure. The main role that top management plays in helping a company achieve superior efficiency, quality, innovation, and responsiveness is introducing mass-production strategies. Mass-production strategies can help a company achieve more division of labor and specialization, leading to high employee productivity (Hill & Schilling, 2024). In turn, employee productivity is essential in increasing an organization’s efficiency, innovation, quality, and responsiveness to customers because it enables the organization to meet customer demands and diversify its products and services to increase competitive advantage.

Adopting Six Sigma Quality Improvement Processes

Six Sigma has gained popularity in the modern-day business environment because of its adoption by successful brands such as Sony (Solanki & Desai, 2017). According to Mareček-Kolibiský & Kučerová (2020), Six Sigma quality improvement processes focus on improving the quality of services and products and maximizing profit and productivity. Therefore, adopting Six Sigma quality improvement processes can give a company a competitive advantage over time because it can help the company continuously improve its processes to respond to the changes in the business environment. Six Sigma can also help companies increase their market share and productivity, retain customers, reduce errors, design new services and products, and change business culture, leading to a competitive advantage.


Hill, C. W., & Schilling, M. A. (2024). Strategic management: An integrated approach: Theory & cases. Cengage Learning.

Kang, H. (2019). An application of the ‘building blocks of competitive advantage’ approach to the U.S. Cereal Market Leaders. International Journal of Management Studies, 25.

Mareček-Kolibiský, M., & Kučerová, M. (2020). Improving product quality by applying Six Sigma. Research Papers Faculty of Materials Science and Technology Slovak University of Technology, 28(46), 57–64.

Solanki, M. I., & Desai, D. A. (2017b). Literature review on Six Sigma quality improvement methodology M.I. ResearchGate.


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Discussion - Competitive Advantage

Discussion – Competitive Advantage

This week, we have analyzed the importance of having a competitive advantage in business. A competitive advantage distinguishes a company from its competitors. It also is the recognition that a company either delivers quality products at a lower cost than the competition or offers support and services at a greater value than the competition.
To gain a competitive advantage, a company must often respond to customer demands quickly. Companies that can satisfy customer demands for rapid response build brand loyalty, differentiate their products, and charge higher prices for products.
For your discussion this week, please answer the following questions:
How are the four building blocks of competitive advantage related to each other?
What role can top management play in helping a company achieve superior efficiency, quality, innovation, and responsiveness to customers?
Over time, will the adoption of Six Sigma quality improvement processes give a company a competitive advantage, or will it be required only to achieve parity with competitors?
Make sure you conduct additional research when answering this question.

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