Critical Success Factors of Sustainable Competitive Advantage: A Study in Malaysian Manufacturing Industries

  •  Gowrie Vinayan    
  •  Sreenivasan Jayashree    
  •  Govindan Marthandan    


To develop a theory relating to SCA, one needs to define the measurement criteria for SCA. In recent times,
although there were many researches that were undertaken focusing in the area of Sustainable Competitive
Advantage (SCA), there is still, however, a lack of an operational definition for SCA. There is no one agreed
upon method for evaluating sustainable competitive advantage for business organizations and hence the
measurement criteria for SCA have not been established despite the extensive focus in the area. In the past,
performance indicators such as profitability or market share have always been used to justify the determinants of
the SCA. Should both the factors play a leading role in determining the SCA, what about other auxiliary or
peripheral factors that could be a contributing point? There should be a quantitative numerical value that depicts
the sustainability of a manufacturing organization. The key objectives of this study are to examine the definition
and the various viewpoints on Sustainable Competitive Advantage and subsequently to develop a measurement
criterion that represents Sustainable Competitive Advantage. Given such kind of scenario, the initial step would
be to develop or create an operational definition for SCA. This paper hence is an attempt to explore the various
viewpoints on literatures on Sustainable Competitive Advantage and to develop dimensions that represents
Sustainable Competitive Advantage. We conceptualized a framework to evaluate the influence of four variables
namely; Effective Supply Chain Management (2) Product differentiation and Innovation, (3) Organizational
responsiveness; and (4) Cost Leadership. The study is based on empirical data collected from a survey of
managers of Malaysian manufacturing industries. The data were collected through an email survey, and had 300
valid responses. The analysis shows that all the four hypotheses were supported. The findings of this study
would assist in defining a more precise way of achieving a sustainable competitive advantage in Malaysian
manufacturing industries.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.