Research in Competence-Based Management vol:6 c:vabb:327260
A Focused Issue on Competence Perspectives on New Industry Dynamics pages:153-207
Our economies are rapidly evolving toward being primarily service-driven, with information and communication as fundamental drivers for the service deployment. Strategic choices are increasingly driven by other parameters than the traditional goods-driven industrial type of economies. In this paper, the major drivers for making strategic choices in a competitive service economy are examined. It is shown how the competition in services based on information and communication technology (ICT) is competence-based. Competition aims at bringing additional value through services, but may also deploy specific techniques to stop value from leaking in particular business processes. Value creation and prevention of value leaks cannot just rely on the traditional material-based techniques, which are grounded in the strong tangible nature of the traditional economies. Today ICT-based services involve creative combinations of technologies, resources, and assets to answer as well as anticipate the growing demand for flexible solutions that create sustained added value. In this paper, the particular role of imperfections in service systems is explored, extending the well-known theories of information imperfections. Imperfections are not always solved but are sometimes even maintained in favor of sustained competitive advantage. Various ways to realize service rent are discussed with extensive examples. The concluding part of the paper points to some crucial service configuration issues, including the need for a sufficient degree of corporate-wide standardized service components and interfaces to address the growing demand for agility in competence-driven markets.