Competitive Competitive priorities are defined as the dimensions

Competitive priority
is a set of objectives or “strategic preference” that the
organization chooses as part of its competitive arsenal (Ahmad & Schroeder,
2002). They are crucial in decision-making on resource allocation and capacity
development. Researchers have identified six objectives. All of these
competitive priorities are defined as follows: the cost is the cash expenses
associated with the operation; products and services provided that meet
customers’ needs; delivery is confidence in offering services and process to
deliver when promised; flexibility is a variety of production or offering
services process capable; Using new and practical products (services) as a
means of competition; environment / safety refers to policies implemented in
risk (Jacobs & Chase, 2010).

Competitive priorities for the operation strategy and
manufacturing strategy broadly competitive priorities and operating strategy
that can help companies to create develop and maintain a competitive advantage.
Competitive priorities are defined as the dimensions that a company’s system
must have to support the demands of markets in which the company wishes to
compete (Krajowski & Ritzman, 1993).

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In 1984 Hayes and
Wheelwright reached that companies compete in the marketplace by virtue of one
or more of the following competitive priorities: Quality; Lead-time; Cost; and
Flexibility. Many authors and practitioners have added to and adapted this list
over the years. Researchers have demonstrated that competitive
priorities have long lasting influence on various business practices such as
technology adoption, process choice, capability management, manufacturing
planning and control systems, employee skills development and quality assurance
(Hayes & Wheelwright, 1984).

Managers must work closely with marketing in order to understand
the competitive situation in the company’s market before they can determine
which competitive priorities are important. Competitive priorities define as
Capabilities that the operations function can develop in order to give a company
a competitive advantage in its market (Reid & Sanders, 2011).

Some firms are
able to sustain their competitive advantage for many years, but most find that
competitive advantage erodes over time. “Market stability is threatened by
short product life cycles, short product design cycles, new technologies,
frequent entry by unexpected outsiders, repositioning by incumbents, and
tactical redefinitions of market boundaries as diverse industries merge.”
Consequently, a company or business unit must constantly work to improve its
competitive advantage. It is not enough to be just the lowest-cost competitor.
Through continuous improvement programs, competitors are usually working to
lower their costs as well. Firms must find new ways not only to reduce costs
further but also to add value to the product or service being provided
(Wheelen& Hunger, 2012, 191).

Phusavat and
Kanchana (2007) identify six criteria which act as competitive priorities:
quality, cost, delivery, flexibility, customer focus and know- how. The current
study pointed three of them to fit and consistence with study’s population, and
these criteria as follows:

4.1.1 Quality

Quality is a competitive criterion in the marketplace. It
engenders competitive advantage by providing products that meet or exceed
customer needs and expectations (Lee &. Zhou, 2000). Quality, as stated by
(Kazan, Ozer and Cetin, 2006), is defined using different perspectives, as it
is a subjective goal that has indefinable characteristics. The definition of
employs the customer’s perspective in defining quality; it is the customer who
decides what goods or services best satisfy his/her needs. Quality defines as
excellence, value, conformance to specifications and meeting or exceeding
customers’ expectations. Most studies identify eight dimensions for quality as:
performance, features, reliability, conformance, durability, serviceability,
aesthetics and perceived quality. These dimensions match the customer
perspective. Thus, quality is clearly viewed as a main source of competitive
advantage, by meeting customer requirements.

Many companies claim that quality is their top priority, and many
customers say that they look for quality in the products (goods, services,
and ideas) they buy. Yet quality has a subjective meaning; it depends on
who is defining it. When companies focus on quality as a competitive priority,
they are focusing on the dimensions of quality that are considered important by
their customers. Quality as a competitive priority has two dimensions. The
first: is high-performance design. This means that the operations function
will be designed to focus on aspects of quality such as superior features,
close tolerances, high durability, and excellent customer service. The
second: dimension is goods and services consistency, which measures how
often the goods or services meet the exact design specifications (Reid &
Sanders, 2011).


(1994) indicates that low cost manufacturing is the priority when profit
margins are low. The logic behind linking a cost leadership strategy to
competitive advantage, as suggested by (Porter, 1991), is that competitive
advantage can be divided into two basic types: lower cost than rivals, or the
ability to differentiate and command a premium price that exceeds the extra
cost of doing so.

advantage, as argued by (porter, 1981) can be achieved by adopting one or more
of the following generic competitive strategies:

v    Cost
low-cost for competitors, related products and standardization, and economies
of scale. The cost-leadership strategy requires intensive work supervision,
strict cost control, frequent and detailed control reports, and structured
response and response capacity.

v    Differentiation: this strategy
is described in terms of product uniqueness, an emphasis on marketing and
research, and a flexible structure.

v    Focus: this strategy
implies a focus on a narrow niche (buyer group, product line or geographic
market) through differentiation, low cost or both.


Organizational environment changes rapidly, Including customer
needs and expectations, the ability to easily absorb these changes can be a
winning strategy. There are two dimensions of flexibility: one is the ability
to offer a wide range of products, and customize them to the unique needs of
customers. A flexible system can quickly add new services. Another aspect of
flexibility is the ability to rapidly increase or reduce the quantity produced
and introduced quickly to accommodate changes in the demand (Reid &
Sanders, 2011).

Phusavat and Kanchana
(2007) define flexibility as the ability to respond effectively to changing
circumstances. Nakane & Hall (1991) defines flexibility as a quick response
to changed production volume, changed product mix, customization of product,
introduction of new products and adoption of new technology.

There are many dimensions
of flexibility: Material quality; Output quality; New product; Modification;
Deliverability; Volume; Product mix; and Resource mix (Foo & Friedman,

4.2 Knowledge Sharing

Fernandez, Gonzalez and Sabherwal, 2004
define Knowledge sharing as “the process through which explicit or tacit
knowledge is communicated to other individuals”. Three important
clarifications are in order. First, knowledge sharing means effective
transfer, so that the recipient of knowledge can understand it well enough
to act on it. Second, what is shred is knowledge instead of recommendations
based on the knowledge. Third, knowledge sharing may take place across
individuals as well as across groups, departments, or organizations.

Knowledge sharing is defined as “the willingness of someone within the
organization to transfer knowledge with other members”, and sharing
knowledge is a social act through interaction and communication between
individuals. This emphasizes that knowledge sharing is inherent and rooted in
knowledge management. Knowledge management (KM) involves cultivating a learning
culture where members systematically collect and share knowledge with others
within the organization to achieve better performance. Therefore, management
should facilitate communication and exchange of knowledge among its staff to
facilitate learning of new and improved approaches to effective and efficient
job delivery (Daniel,
Abraham, Shadrach & Ernest, 2015).

There are many factors that affect knowledge sharing in organizations such
as cost, especially when purchasing equipment or using technology or holding
conferences and seminars. Knowledge sharing is also influenced by the
possibility of changing content, particularly in the hierarchy.

There are many effective tools for sharing knowledge such as e-mail,
internal communication through intranet networks, all of which lead to a better
distribution of knowledge and allow employees to inquire, discuss and analyze
information through different perspectives. Roussan (2004) points out that
knowledge sharing is done through the use of intranet, which is a link between
all employees at different levels of management in the organization.

Al-Alul (2011, 101) points out that if the organization does not distribute
its knowledge efficiently, it will not generate a return for the cost of that
knowledge. Al-Alul said that it is easy to share explicit knowledge through
technology and communication, but the transfer of implicit knowledge in the
minds and experiences of workers remains a major challenge to knowledge

The researcher agrees with Al- Alul that the sharing implicit knowledge
requires a great effort and periodic plans to motivate workers in the
organizations and enhance their capabilities to share and transfer knowledge.
Also the process of knowledge sharing is the first step in the process of using
knowledge and the step presented to it. Knowledge sharing here means the way in
which knowledge is communicated by appropriate mechanisms, and to the right
person, in an appropriate form and cost.

Knowledge sharing refers to
the provision of task information and know-how to help others and to
collaborate with others to solve problems, develop new ideas, or implement
policies or procedures (Cummings, 2004). It should be noted that the process
of knowledge sharing requires effective mechanisms, mechanisms that can be
formal such as reports, training, official meetings, or informal ones such as
informal dialogue, panels and meetings. Consequently, it is necessary to
combine formal and informal mechanisms for the sharing and transfer of
knowledge (Al-Alwani, 2006, 315).

Al-Taher (2012, 93) points out that knowledge sharing involves the
transmission of implicit knowledge or explicit knowledge to individuals through
communication and other means. Where the process of participation is carried
out through two main processes: the process of exchange of knowledge
(Exchange), and the process of socialization through social interactions in organizations
(Socialization). The exchange of explicit knowledge facilitates its transfer
and participation, while social processes apply to implicit knowledge.

Knowledge sharing is
essentially the act of making knowledge available to others within the organization
(IPe, 2003). Knowledge sharing enables managers to maintain individual learning
flow throughout the company and integrate it into practical application. It is
very important to clarify that knowledge sharing can be classified as
(knowledge donating; individuals responsibility and knowledge collecting;
organizations’ responsibility).

current research is consisted with Van Den Hooff and De Ridder (2004) where
knowledge sharing is classified into “knowledge donating–communicating to
others what one’s personal intellectual capital is; and knowledge
collecting–consulting colleagues in order to get them to share their
intellectual capital”.

The researcher revealed that Knowledge Sharing refers to ensure that
appropriate knowledge is accessible to those need it, at the appropriate time,
and that it reaches as many people as possible in the organization. Knowledge
sharing is the third process of knowledge management and relies on formal and
informal mechanisms and methods. The formal methods are: reports, letters,
correspondence, internal conferences and workshops of the organization,
periodic reviews of the situation in the organization, internal publications,
video and voice conversations, training and learning. Informal methods include:
rotation, interpersonal relationships between staff, and work teams.

4.3 Social Media

Kaplan and Haenlein (2009,
63) defined social networking sites as
“applications that enable users to connect by creating profiles, inviting
friends and colleagues to access those profiles, and sending e-mail messages
and instant messages between each other.”

Social media is defined as “forms of media that allow
people to communicate and share information using the Internet or mobile
phones,” such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Social media is a
collection of new types of online media, which share most or all of the
characteristics The following: participation, openness, conversation, community
and communication (Wolmer,

Social media are quite different from traditional media. Where
traditional media can direct their messages to one-way customers, social media
focuses on conversations with a two-way communication type. Communications
should aim at authenticity and participation; to become active users within
social media. Social media do not develop new strategies in this context; they
offer additional channels of communication with much potential (Kate, 2009).

In other research
user-friendliness, interactiveness, openness and uncontrollability, velocity,
and real-tameness have been mentioned to be the main characteristics of social
media (Kaplan & Haenlain, 2009; Denyer et al, 2011; Kietzmann et al, 2011;
Fournier & Avery, 2011). Also in other studies Social media can be showed
as – features, content, means, people and purpose (Jalonen, 2014, 1372).

Finally, Social media are built to
promote the creation of communities and communities. The easiest steps are to
maximize the existing presence on the Internet. The next step is to increase
brand awareness among employers; to involve all existing employees and their
networks (Kate, 2009).

5. Previous Research

Thawatchai, Jitpaiboon, Qiannong,
Gu, and Dothang, Truong (2016) study explored that Competitive priorities are
critical dimensions that a business must possess to satisfy clients. The
process of defining competitive priorities is evolving and changing over time
according to a new business paradigm. Therefore, it is the right time to
revisit the critical dimensions of competitive priority. The purpose of this
study is three fold: to identify and revise the critical dimensions of
competitive priority; to assess the quality of competitive priority measures
across studies based on different criteria; to confirm the relationship between
several competitive priorities and organizational performance. The results show
the different effects that competitive priorities have on organizational
performance. Cost and quality priorities show evidence of strong effect size
compared to the others.

Ghazali, Sulaiman, Zabidi, Omar and Alias (2016) study that
aimed to study social media effects in educational sector. Therefore, this
study is directed to explore other niche area on knowledge sharing environment
where it will focused on the effects of social media on knowledge sharing among
academia. Initially, literature review analysis was done to discover the
potential factors that encourage academia to engage in social media. Ability to
facilitate communication, idea generation and group establishment are the most
cited reasons. Not only that, this paper will highlight the significance of
performing this study. In conclusion, there is no doubt that social media do
enhance and upgrading the knowledge sharing process thus assisting academia in
their scholarly work.

Agbim and Idris (2015) study has
empirically established that knowledge dissemination is significantly related
to competitive advantage among hotels in Benue State, Nigeria. Thus, the
sustained competitiveness among the hotels in Benue State could be attributed
to the prevalence and unprecedented increase in the sharing and transfer of
knowledge among well motivated knowledge workers within and between departments
in the hotels, and between hotels through the use of ICT gadgets.

Gaal, Szabo, Kovacs and Csepregi (2015) survey that
investigates how internal or external social media technologies are being used
for knowledge sharing during work or for professional development. The study
was accomplished with the help of enterprises and institutions operating in
Hungary from profit and non-profit sectors, applying quantitative research
methods. The results have shown that Hungarian organizations prefer not to
allow the usage of external social media; but where the employees are supported
to reach these tools, high proportion of the people utilize them.

Al-Husseini and Elbeltagi (2015) study aimed
to examine the impact of knowledge sharing on product innovation. The results
found that knowledge sharing is a basis of product innovation in Iraqi higher
education environment. This paper makes a theoretical contribution to the
literature on knowledge sharing and innovation, and provides support for the
knowledge-based view theory and empirically strengthens the role knowledge
sharing plays in enhancing product innovation in Iraqi higher education. These
results give a better understanding of how knowledge can lead to competitive
advantage in Iraqi higher education. Knowledge sharing is known to transfer
individual experiences, knowledge, skills, expertise, and information into
explicit and organizational assets for better innovation. Managing knowledge
and sharing it, as a strategic resource is one of the foundational weapons that
enable universities to increase their competitive advantage and chances of

Meihami and Meihami (2014) Study investigated the impact of knowledge management
on competitive advantage in organizations. Knowledge is a powerful tool that
can change the world and innovations made possible. Knowledge management is an
interdisciplinary business model with all aspects of knowledge creation,
Coding, sharing and using knowledge to enhance learning and innovation in the
context of the company is working. The study found that knowledge management
has an impact on the surface of the competitive advantage’s Knowledge
management and competitive advantage, Innovation, Organizational performance,
Customer satisfaction.

Khalil and Divine (2012) study explored the relationship between knowledge
sharing and innovation capability, by examining the influence of individual,
organizational and technological factors on knowledge sharing. Knowledge
sharing in any organization is very important as this is the basis upon which
ideas and processes are being implemented and that help management in decision
making. An understanding of these knowledge sharing enablers will help
organizations capitalize on them, to positively influence their innovation
capability. In this study, within the UAE context, the relationship between the
variables in the proposed model and specifically knowledge collecting and
donating had either weak or no significant importance at least to the
individuals that were surveyed. Use of ICT had the strongest relationship that
may enhance innovation capabilities of firms. Further investigation is required
to examine the factors that prohibit knowledge collecting and sharing within
UAE organizations.