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01Jul '11

Awareness, Action and Context-Specificity of Blue Ocean Practices in Sales Management

Management Decision

Theme: Empirical testing verifying link between Blue Ocean Strategy and business performance.

Summary: This paper reports on a quantitative investigation exploring the link between business performance and Blue Ocean Strategy. The empirical study conducted involves a 168-respondent survey of CEOs and sales directors of Finnish companies across multiple industries. Cluster analysis and varimax methods are employed for categorizing companies and examining their approach to executing BOS. Linkages to self-reported business performance are also analyzed. The four clusters investigated include companies with a) strategic awareness building orientation, b) customer-specific orientation, c) enforcement orientation and d) non-employment of BOS. The study reports that the enforcement orientation cluster demonstrates superior performance as compared to non-users of BOS and so, the authors conclude that enforcing BOS at the level of action and implementation does pay off. For actualizing these findings into concrete managerial actions, the authors recommend that implementability should be key in making use of BOS; BOS should be managed through pragmatic components of a company’s business model; companies should concentrate on BOS specific implementation skills instead of knowledge; and that they need to establish contextual sensitivity to applying Blue Ocean Strategy.

Reference: Parvinen, P., Aspara, J., Hietanen, J., Kajalo, S. "Awareness, Action and Context- Specificity of Blue Ocean Practices in Sales Management." Management Decision 49 (2011): 1218 – 1234.
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