01Aug '08

Planning with Blue Ocean Strategy in the United Arab Emirates

Strategic Change

Theme: Empirical investigation of blue ocean strategy principles in firms of various sizes in the UAE.

Summary: This paper reports on an empirical investigation of blue ocean strategy formulation and implementation. The study employs a large scale survey of randomly sampled managers from small (<100 employees), medium (>100 and <750), and large (>750 employees) companies in the United Arab Emirates, testing seven hypotheses derived from the blue ocean strategy frameworks including the six principles of blue ocean strategy, the four actions framework, and the six paths to creating new market spaces. The analysis shows that there are significant differences between the opinions of managers from small and medium companies, as compared to large multinational enterprises. The authors report that even though multinational corporations are leading rapid diversification in the UAE, small and medium sized companies are more dynamic, able to make quicker decisions and react to market changes, and hold to the primary principles of blue ocean strategy more strongly than large firms. The authors found a negative correlation between the size of the firm and how strongly executives feel that they should look for uncontested market spaces. They also report significant correlation between executives who feel that it is important to open up new and uncontested market spaces and executives who feel that it is important to remain focused on a select few factors in the value chain.

Reference: Butler, Colin. “Planning with Blue Ocean Strategy in the United Arab Emirates.” Strategic Change17 (August 2008): 169–178.
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