Competitive Moves over Time: The Case of SAP

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    This paper applies the Red Queen theory to explain how organizations utilize various sourcing arrangements in order to compete in an evolutionary arms race where only the strongest competitors will survive. This case study incorporates competition and views sourcing strategies as a means to improve its viability to survive in the marketplace. The study begins with a review of sourcing literature to position the Red Queen theory within the sourcing literature. It subsequently applies the framework to a case study of SAP AG to illustrate how sourcing strategies changed over time in response to the logic of competition. The case study reveals that (a) organizations are adaptive systems and capable of organizational learning to make strategic changes pertaining to sourcing arrangements; (b) organizations select the terms in which they want to compete by developing certain capabilities within the firm; (c) organizations are reflexive and over time develop competitive hysteresis which allows them to become stronger competitors. In the case of SAP AG, various sourcing arrangements were selected over its 40-year history to respond to technological and market changes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCENTERIS 2014 - Conference on ENTERprise Information Systems / ProjMAN 2014 - International Conference on Project MANagement / HCIST 2014 - International Conference on Health and Social Care Information Systems and Technologies
    EditorsJoão Varajão, Manuela Cunha, Niels Bjørn-Andersen, Rodney Turner, Duminda Wijesekera, Ricardo Martinho, Rui Rijo
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    Publication date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventConference on ENTERprise Information Systems 2014 - Troia, Portugal
    Duration: 15 Oct 201417 Oct 2014
    Conference number: 6


    ConferenceConference on ENTERprise Information Systems 2014
    Internet address
    SeriesProcedia Technology

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