An exploratory study of Internet and generic competitive strategy in Hong Kong business sector

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

An exploratory study of Internet and generic competitive strategy in Hong Kong business sector


Author: Yiu, Tak-sum
Title: An exploratory study of Internet and generic competitive strategy in Hong Kong business sector
Year: 1999
Subject: Business enterprises -- Computer networks
Strategic planning
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Management
Pages: iii, 116 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: This dissertation is aimed at exploring the use of Internet as a means to gain competitive advantages, with particular reference to Hong Kong companies. In the study, we address the following research questions: (1) To what extent is Internet used as cost, differentiation and focus strategy? (2) What are the sources of Internet competitive advantages? (3) What factors affect the use of Internet to achieve cost, differentiation and focus strategy? Hong Kong companies that have a presence on the World Wide Web are invited to participate in a questionnaire survey. The survey findings reveal that the use of Internet can enhance all the three generic competitive strategies. Sources of cost advantages by using Internet come from reducing communication cost, promotion cost, distribution cost, international market expansion cost, inventory cost and through reducing the number of customer services staff. The use of Internet helps companies achieve differentiation strategy through enhancing corporate/brand image, shortening the time to launch new product/services; and improving customer services by collecting customer feedback on product/services as well as attending to clients' inquiries/complaints more efficiently and effectively. Focus strategy is particularly fortified through strengthening customer relationships. The sources of focus advantages come from identifying and capturing information of existing and new clients more easily and effectively. In addition, on-line shopping also fits with the consumer's life style of Internet users. There is no conclusion on whether the "objectives" of using Internet will moderate the relationship between Internet and the achievement of competitive advantages. However, for some variables, including all focus advantages components; cost advantage components: reduction of communication, distribution and inventory cost; and differentiation components: "collecting customer feedback", they are all found to be significantly better achieved if companies have previously set them as objectives of using Internet. No difference is found in using Internet to achieve cost, differentiation and focus competitive advantages among various industries. There are two possible reasons: (1) The Internet provides a level playing field among different industries and different sizes of companies. (2) Companies do not have a clear set of objectives when they first employed Internet technology.

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