Elements Distinctive Capabilities:


  • Corporate networks and relationships, internal and external architecture, win-win, supply chain management


  • Brand, and power of people in the organisation

Innovation: Hard and risky to sustain

  • technological success but commercial failure – difficult process to manage and budget – number 2 developer often more successful (marketing R&D)


Distinctive Capabilities – result of actions of many throughout the organisation


Must be sustainable and appropriate to business

  • Resource Limitations: Organizations may face challenges in identifying and developing distinctive capabilities, especially if they lack the necessary resources or expertise.
  • Competitive Dynamics: Maintaining distinctive capabilities requires constant vigilance and investment to stay ahead of competitors who may attempt to imitate or replicate them.
  • Alignment with Strategy: Distinctive capabilities must be aligned with the organization’s overall strategy and business objectives to ensure that they contribute effectively to its competitive advantage.

Experience curve: increased efficiency, specialization, innovation, greater productivity, improved resource mix

Thompson & Richardson, 1996, generic strategic competencies: Content – reflect ways adding value, Process – changing and improving content, awareness and learning – change management process in satisfying needs.


To determine the organisations competitive advantage

  • Strategic Planning: The “Distinctive Capabilities” model is used by organizations to inform their strategic planning processes and identify areas where they can develop or enhance distinctive capabilities to gain a competitive edge.
  • Resource Allocation: It helps organizations allocate resources effectively by focusing investment on developing and strengthening distinctive capabilities that are most relevant to their strategic priorities.
  • Competitive Analysis: The model provides a framework for analyzing competitors’ capabilities and identifying opportunities for differentiation and value creation in the marketplace.

Source Distinctive Capabilities:

Kay (2003)