retailing, blue ocean strategy, competitive advantage, entrepreneurial discovery, innovation
Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), Erasmus University Rotterdam (ERIM is the joint researchinstitute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Blue ocean strategy seeks to turn strategic management on its head by replacing ‘competitive advantage’ with ‘value innovation’ as the primary goal where firms must create consumer demand and exploit untapped markets. Empirical analysis has been focused on case study evidence and so lacks generality to resolve the debate. We provide a methodological synthesis of the theories enabling us to bring statistical evidence to the debate. Our analysis finds that blue ocean and competitive strategies overlap and managers do not face a discrete either/or decision between each strategy. Our evidence for the Dutch retail industry indicates that blue ocean strategy has prevailed as a dominant long term viable strategy.