• Category:
  • Document type:
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:

Distinctive competence

Distinctive competence refers to a set of actions or capabilities that a firm is capable of doing well compared to its opponents, and which, offers it an advantage over the competitors. Distinctive competence is that which is unique that is done well by a firm and sets the firm different from the competitors (KOZAMI, 2010). Distinctive competence describes that unique or exceptional feature of an organization that its competitors do not possess. Distinctive competence is found in many forms. This could be strong brands, skills, and patents. Distinctive competence lies in various areas that include marketing activities that are unique and technology. A company requires developing strategy that uses distinctive competence to have the competitive advantage over the competitors. Distinctive competence of a company changes with time as other firms develop new capabilities. Distinctive competence also changes with market needs. Companies need to recognize their distinctive competence by cautious analysis (KOZAMI, 2010).

There are many aspects that make distinctive competence. The aspects may be a function of a marketplace, design service the company supplies or its quality and higher service. Recognizing competitive advantage establishes the procedure for leveraging of resources and the determining the best circumstances in exploring business development options. For example, imaging is the distinctive competence of the Kodak. Kodak’s understanding of imaging fact has permitted it to develop into businesses as apparently unrelated as pharmaceuticals. By using imaging, rather than seeing itself in the film business, Kodak progressed ahead of its competitors in its first business and produced, thereby, an advantage. Kodak’s sustainable advantage is the outcome of not doing something particularly continuously, but doing that which the organization has learned to do always. Any firm gets a competitive advantage when it performs vital activities better than others. A business that creates advantage centered on competence results in a company sustainability. The firm stays in the business since it can keep solving fresh problems and not solving the similar problems again.

The ability to study quicker than your competitors is advantageous. This is because in today’s business environment nothing is constant. The significance of understanding how to adapt and use distinctive skills outshines the significance of doing any one thing. Distinctive competencies are significant to organizations since they enable improved value creation and consequently, a continuing profitable business (IRELAND & HOSKISSON, 2008). Distinctive competence becomes the competitive advantage when used in a market. A company enjoys the competitive advantage by reference to other competitors in the same market.

Distinctive competence is made by organizations and firms and not individuals. Distinctively competent work builds endlessly upon itself to solve fresh problems. The competence arises to exist in the qualities and features of the organization that cares the individual performance.

Practical examples of distinctive competence are management development, lean manufacturing, superior quality, and payroll system. For example wall mart competes with other big chains of stores in the world (HILL, & JONES 2012). However, wall mart has the advantage of low prices and huge variety. These distinctive competence offers the wall mart an advantage over the other stores since there is demand for these characteristics in the marketplace. To gain distinctive competence advantage, the firm requires to thoroughly investigate the market and do the analysis of the market. The firm also requires to establish the customer needs and understand what the customers’ value most. Distinctive competence is very important in this modern time since large firms and companies are in the competition of each other. Another practical example of distinctive competence is with Apple. Apple’s distinctive competence includes: making user-friendly products and service to the customer, the level of innovation, marketing and designing the product well that don’t look like the one in the market (.KAY, 2009). The other practical example of distinctive competence is the southwest airlines in the United States that have lowest cost operational efficiency that makes it different from the competitors. The other practical examples include Sharp Corporation that has proficiency in flat display technology. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan that possess distinctive competence in low cost, high quality manufacturing potential and high quality designs. Another example is the Intel firm that designs leading microprocessor for the personal computers.

In conclusion, the distinctive competence model suggests that the relationship between strategy types and distinctive capabilities affects the firm’s performance and the environment the firm operates in controls relationship. The distinctive competence arises from the administration of the firm, operations of the firm, and marketing services of the firm (IRELAND & HOSKISSON, 2008).Distinctive competence can be utilized for individuals as well as firms.


HILL, C. W. L., & JONES, G. R. 2012. Essentials of strategic management. Australia, South-

Western/Cengage Learning.

IRELAND, R. D., HOSKISSON, R. E., & HITT, M. A. 2008. Understanding business

strategy: concepts and cases. Mason, OH. South-Western Cengage Learning.

KAY, J. 2009. Foundations of corporate success how business strategies add value. Oxford,

Oxford University Press. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/ebooks/ebc/019828988X.

KOZAMI, A. 2010. Business policy and strategic management. New-Delhi, McGraw-Hill