[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: In a future of continuing uncertainty when the life span of the average business undertaking appears to be reducing, innovation and adaptation remain imperatives. The incumbent ex-monopoly telecommunication operators have cultures rooted in engineering excellence and share the common inheritances of size, age and complexity. Are these characteristics the source of unique competitive' advantage or are they insurmountable barriers to change? Can these 'Corporate Dinosaurs' adapt and innovate to meet the challenges of an environment far removed from the one they were designed for? There are disturbing parallels with civil aviation, another industrial sector where organizations created in an era of regulation and state intervention to exploit a 20th century technology, now face competition from a range of new entrants with significantly different business models. In North America many famous airlines which played a major role in the development of safe, reliable, global aviation have either ceased trading or are operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This paper argues that over many years the incumbents have developed intangible resources, which if harnessed effectively, could be combined in a unique fashion that will be impossible or costly for a competitor to imitate, so sustaining the incumbents in the 21st century.
Article · Jan 2012 · International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management