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Labor Mobility And Hypercompetition: Another Challenge To Sustained Competitive Advantages?
Strategic Management Review
  • Jeffrey E. Stambaugh, Midwestern State University
  • Yongjing Zhang, University of Ottawa
  • Timothy DeGroot, Cleveland State University
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  • hypercompetition; resource-based view; labor mobility

Researchers have suggested globalization, technological advances, and the rise of entrepreneurship have ushered in a new era of hypercompetition where competitive advantages are hard to attain and sustain. In this paper we propose another source of hypercompetition—a sudden increase in labor mobility within an industry—by drawing on the resource-based view of what leads to a sustainable competitive advantage. Using data from the National Football League, which had a substantial change in the player mobility in 1993, we use the two-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to stratify teams according to their demonstrated level of competitive (dis)advantage based on their on-field performance. We found support for the hypotheses that an increase in intraindustry labor mobility makes it harder for organizations to sustain a competitive advantage while it is easier for firms at a competitive disadvantage to climb out of the cellar, with dramatic climbs more likely than dramatic falls.

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Stambaugh, J.E., Zhang, Y., & DeGroot, T. (2013). Labor mobility and hyper competition: Another challenge to sustain competitive advantage.