Academic journal article Journal of Business Economics and Management

Perception of Competitiveness in the Context of Sustainable Development: Facets of "Sustainable competitiveness"/Konkurencingumo Suvokimas Darnaus Vystymosi Kontekste: "Darnaus Konkurencingumo" Aspektai

Academic journal article Journal of Business Economics and Management

Perception of Competitiveness in the Context of Sustainable Development: Facets of "Sustainable competitiveness"/Konkurencingumo Suvokimas Darnaus Vystymosi Kontekste: "Darnaus Konkurencingumo" Aspektai

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The Lisbon Strategy, launched in 2000, was based on an acknowledgement of the European Union's need to increase its productivity and competitiveness. The financial and economic crisis that started in 2008 resulted in a significant loss in jobs and potential output. European Council agreed to the European Commission's proposal to launch a new strategy for jobs and growth--"Europe 2020", which will focus on the key areas where action is needed to boost Europe's potential for sustainable growth and competitiveness.

Political topicalities raise a need for development of a new concept of the competitiveness and revealing relationships between sustainable development and competitiveness. The aim of this article is to set out the future research area of competitiveness theory taking into account the development of competitiveness concept and existing research tendencies.

It is generally recognized that continued competitiveness and economic growth are essential factors for supporting living standards and wellbeing. Strong international competitiveness creates the resources that enable material improvements in living standards and resources for investments that promote both individual wellbeing and national competitiveness (Discussion Paper on Wellbeing and Competitiveness 2008: 3). Competitive regions and cities are places where both companies and people want to invest and to locate in (Kitson et al. 2004: 997).

Competitiveness research and studies look at all the elements that can explain the competitiveness success and try to identify the drivers of competitiveness. Despite there is a whole strand of scientific literature on competitiveness, alas, unanimous agreement about definition or model of competitiveness has not been reached.

For developing the concept of competitiveness it is necessary to undergo critical analysis of existing studies on national competitiveness.

First, this article looks at the different definitions, outlines the most recent concepts of competitiveness, and provides the suggested classification of competitiveness research areas.

Second, the article provides an overview of some of the models most frequently used for competitiveness, especially national competitiveness, analysis (Porter's Diamond model, the Double--Diamond model, the Generalized Double-Diamond (GDD) model, the Nine--Factor model, TOWS Matrix, Competitiveness Pyramid, etc.) and international assessments of competitiveness (World Economic Forum, IMD World Competitiveness Centre, Robert Huggins Associates, etc.).

Generally, the analysis of the different theoretical views and research in the scientific and legal literature on the topic of competitiveness is followed by the summary of the conclusions. This article outlines the new approach to competitiveness theory and reveals relationships between competitiveness and other research areas.

In this sense, the findings of this article may contribute for development of further research of competitiveness.

2. Theory: definitions and concept of competitiveness

Theoretical explanations of economic competitiveness vary. Some researchers believe that the concept of competitiveness applies most appropriately to firms and products. Others identify the national competitiveness as an important determinant of firms'overall competitiveness or analyse it from the sectoral perspective. International researches highlight that cities drive economic growth and enhance national competitiveness.

In the literature the word "competitiveness" conveys a different meaning when applied to an individual firm or an individual sector or economic activity within a country or region.

For a firm, competitiveness is the ability to produce the right goods and services of the right quality, at the right price, at the right time. It means meeting customers' needs more efficiently and more effectively than other firms do (Edmonds 2000: 20). …

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