Marketing and Competitive Advantage in Energy Resources

By Kassira, R. Deana; Sussan, Aysar Philip | Competition Forum, January 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Marketing and Competitive Advantage in Energy Resources


Kassira, R. Deana, Sussan, Aysar Philip, Competition Forum


INTRODUCTION

As in Newton's first law of motion, De Jager (2004) suggests that people do not change unless they have a convincing reason (p. 16). De Jager posits that people do not act randomly and need a compelling reason to change from their current state or their state of inertia. In a similar vein, both organizatio ns and individuals are prone to the old adage, "if it isn't broken, don't fix it." There are numerous examples that support this. For example, Morgan (2008, p. 27) states that "organizations tend to find a groove and stay in the groove," and Tidd and Bessa nt (2009) argue that a major change requires energy to overcome the organizational inertia that tends to keep the firm from changing. While there has not been an impetus for paradigm shift in recent years, the green energy movement might be the spark that propels individuals and organizations to change.

Not surprisingly, the current organizational climate is clamoring for change with respect to the usage of energy and going green is increasingly becoming a necessity. Organizations are considering initiatives to incorporate reusable energy sources primarily to save money and as a side-effect have reduced environmental impact. From a global perspective, it is imperative for organizations to begin making necessary changes to go green and decrease their carbon footprint (Chapman, 2007). In a majority of organizations there are tangible and intangible benefits to going green and decreasing usage of fossil fuels. Moreover, monetary benefits are available to organizations that show changes in how they work with the environment (McGinnis, 2009). While it may not be easy, organizational change is something that happens often and will continue to as long as changes are needed and are a viable part of their evolution.

Recently, President Barrack Obama has develope d initiatives supporting solar and wind energy, with plans to 'go green' with the goal of obtaining 10% of the United States' energy from renewable sources over the next 10 years. This clearly signifies the criticality of alternative sources of energy for the U.S. (Green, 2008). Regardless, moving towards alternative sources of energy, as suggest by President Obama, It is prudent to expect stakeholders inside and outside organizations to resist any change to existing processes. As Yuki (2006) notes, individuals and organizations resist change for different reasons with lack of trust, fear, and threats their values being the most prominent. Clearly, switching to alternative sources to energy signifies a major change as fossil fuels are substituted with renewable energy sources (Yuki, 2006).

The utilization of alternative sources of energy for potential competitive advantage is desirable today due to the benefits afforded to all living creatures including the reduction of global warming and public health benefits. The main source of global warming is the release of carbon compounds originating from energy created from combustion of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal into the air. There are numerous perspectives on possible alternatives depending on suggested solutions. For example, Kandlikar, Sergi, LaManna, and Daino, (2009, p. 32) argue that the rate of petroleum production will likely remain flat or even fall in the coming decades due to geological, economic, political, and ecological reaso ns with hydrogen being the most widely anticipated alternative fuel. Therefore, to combat global warming there is a need to lessen dependency on the use of fossil fuels and replace them with renewable energy sources and conservation (Pollin, 2008).

For organizations in the U.S. to be able to adopt alternative energy sources, they would do well to research how disruptive technologies are being embraced globally. Gupta, Kanungo, Kumar, and Sahu (2007) studied the dynamics of information technology (IT) in Indian government and came to the following conclusions: 1. user desire user-friendly technology and their satisfaction determines the level of IT success, 2. …

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