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Past of the firm: The source for sustainable competitive advantage and survival?

Aaltonen, S, Heinze, A, Ielpa, G, Klosova, A, Papadopoulou, T, De Tommaso, D, Vasilieva, E and Zygiaris, S 2011, Past of the firm: The source for sustainable competitive advantage and survival? , in: RENT XXV Conference - Entrepreneurial, Business and Society, November 16-18, Bodo, University of Nordland - Norway.

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      Abstract

      Small craft sector firms are struggling to survive in an environment where large multinational companies produce similar kinds of products in higher volumes and cheaper prices. The surviving of small firms calls for creative thinking. There are many different ways to react to these challenges. Those of them that have been trading for decades have a quality that no newcomer has: their history and knowledge. This quality is seldom fully valued or exploited by the companies. However, more efficient exploitation of the enterprise cultural heritage could enhance the competitiveness of long established small businesses - especially today, when sustainability, authenticity, innovativeness and traditions are highly valued among many consumers worldwide (Feagan, 2007, Sedera et al., 2004, Halweil, 2002). These assets can be vital for surviving for long established companies. Heritage can be used as an asset, which can have new meanings in new contexts and eras. Therefore, it can be used to serve contemporary purposes. Enterprise cultural heritage’s both cultural and economic values have become more visible recently. The concepts of heritage production and heritage as commodity have been introduced. First venues for this commercialization have been museums, travel and food industry. (Nic Craith, 2007, Kockel, 2007). The cultural heritage includes both the intangible assets, such as the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge and skills - as well as the tangible assets which includes objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith (Unesco, 2003, Nic Craith, 2007). The concept of ECH aims to bring the concept of cultural heritage now closer to the everyday business practices. ECH is an innovative and complex concept combining the company’s own history and creations with the potential to transform information and materials into “extended products & services”. The aim of the paper is twofold - both empirical and theoretical. On one hand, the applicability of the resource-based view is tested with case studies and on the other hand, the theoretical foundations of this novel concept of ECH are consolidated. This paper aims to answer the questions: how is the Enterprise Cultural Heritage exploited in the companies studied and does the exploitation of ECH create sustained competitive advantage for these companies (evaluated with the VRIO framework). In the conclusions and implications both the theoretical and policy implications of the study are discussed, as well as how a conscious use of ECH might help the long established companies to survive.

      Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
      Additional Information: This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the view only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
      Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
      Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Business & Law > Salford Business School > Centre for Digital Business
      Refereed: Yes
      Funders: The European Commission
      Depositing User: Dr Aleksej Heinze
      Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2012 16:45
      Last Modified: 04 Feb 2014 14:44
      URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/20837

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