Competitive Moves Over Time: The Case of SAP
Source of Publication
This paper applies the Red Queen theory to explain how organizations utilize various sourcing arrangements in order to compete in an evolutionary arms race where only the strongest competitors will survive. This case study incorporates competition and views sourcing strategies as a means to improve its viability to survive in the marketplace. The study begins with a review of sourcing literature to position the Red Queen theory within the sourcing literature. It subsequently applies the framework to a case study of SAP AG to illustrate how sourcing strategies changed over time in response to the logic of competition. The case study reveals that (a) organizations are adaptive systems and capable of organizational learning to make strategic changes pertaining to sourcing arrangements; (b) organizations select the terms in which they want to compete by developing certain capabilities within the firm; (c) organizations are reflexive and over time develop competitive hysteresis which allows them to become stronger competitors. In the case of SAP AG, various sourcing arrangements were selected over its 40-year history to respond to technological and market changes.
Antero, Michelle; Hedman, Jonas; and Henningsson, Stefan, "Competitive Moves Over Time: The Case of SAP" (2014). All Works. 998.
Indexed in Scopus
Open Access Type
Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series