Price, Sherry and Erwee, Ronel (2006) High technology firms in Canada's description of their competitive advantage - a cross case analysis of a sample of SMEs. In: AM 2006: Knowledge, Action and the Public Concern , 14-16 Aug 2006, Atlanta, USA.
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This exploratory research compares how high technology firms define competitive advantage and use performance management strategies to gain a competitive advantage. The eight high technology firms selected for a larger research study are located in the Okanagan Valley region of British Columbia Canada and each was pre-qualified as a small or medium-sized enterprise – two with 10 to 19 employees, four with 20 to 49, and two with 50 to 200. For this research, eight high technology case studies were constructed from interviews with the firms’ managers. This paper presents the cross-case analysis of the results of one of the research issues regarding the definition of competitive advantage in the SMEs. The results indicate that all firms view superior technology and customer service as their common differentiating qualities; nevertheless, human capital was endorsed as either a competitive advantage or an integral component. Regardless, performance management has potential for greater role in the crafting and executing of strategy than these firms employ.
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