Dissertation: How companies can thrive and survive in turbulent markets

Posted on 22/08/17.

Binod Timilsinan mukaan eri kilpailutekijöitä, kuten hintaa, laatua, nopeutta ja joustavuutta, yhdistävä strategia hyödyttäisi pk-yrityksiä. Kuvaaja: Riikka Kalmi

According to a new doctoral study from the University of Vaasa,to succeed in the market, company’s competitive priority must be in line with its strategy and operations, especially when the business environment is turbulent – if not, the company might fail and lose its position in the market.

M.Sc. Binod Timilsina’s doctoral dissertation on the field of Industrial Management explores the ways of gaining and sustaining competitive operations in turbulent business environment.

Constantly changing business environment and rapidly changing customer needs make it hard for companies to thrive and survive. The plan made today may become useless the day after without the managers even noticing.

“Therefore, a firm should have more sophisticated, flexible, and innovative framework for effective strategic planning, implementation and monitoring”, says Timilsina.

Why do some companies succeed in turbulent environment and the others do not? Firms within an industry may even compete in the market within the scope of the same competitive priority, but there remains a difference in their performance.

“This might be because of differences in the level of alignment between a firm’s operations, strategies, and identified competitive priorities”, says Timilsina.

In order to succeed, company’s competitive priority should be in line with its strategy and operations.

SMEs should use multi focus strategies

Turbulent environment is difficult for large companies and even more difficult for small and medium sized companies. In comparison to large organizations, SMEs are confronted with more threats than opportunities. This might be due to the fact that in comparison to large organizations SMEs in general have limited access to resources, as for example financial resources. However, according to Timilsina’s doctoral dissertation, any firm can overcome the challenges of turbulent business environments.

“The only option for SMEs is to change their strategies according to the nature of changing business environments. Focusing on one competitive priority may not be beneficial. Multi focus strategies, a combination of cost, quality, time, and flexibility, allow SMEs to attract wide range of consumer by maintaining product or service variety”, he says.

Timilsina draws this conclusion on the basis of statistical analysis of survey conducted among the managers of SMEs from Finland between the years 2013–2015.

“The statistical correlation between business environment, competitiveness, and firm performance were more significant in case of multi focus competitive priority than in case of single focus competitive priority.”

Cost-benefit analysis is the key

In his dissertation Timilsina also introduces the concept of competitively distinct operations by highlighting the importance of cost-benefit analysis in identifying the best possible combination of resource choice and operations decision in the value chain (input – process - output). According to Timilsina, the concept was successfully tested with the survey conducted among managers of SMEs from Finland.

The success story of Walmart, an American multinational retailing company, gives support to the new concept. SMEs have a lot to learn from Walmart.

“Walmart was found to be a good example of a successful business model where one can see how well resource choice and operations decisions have been aligned in the value chain by means of a cost-benefit analysis.”

More information

Binod Timilsina, tel. + 358 466237496, email: binod.timilsina(at)uwasa.fi.

Binod Timilsina was born in Rautahat, Nepal in 1979. He has Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management from Central Ostrobothnia University of Applied Sciences and a Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Vaasa.

Timilsina, Binod (2017) Gaining and Sustaining Competitive Operations in Turbulent Business Environments: What and How? Acta Wasaensia 380. Vaasan yliopisto. University of Vaasa.

Pdf of the publication

Publication orders

Public Defence

The public examination of M.Sc. Binod Timilsina´s doctoral dissertation in the field of Industrial Management ”Gaining and Sustaining Competitive Operations in Turbulent Business Environment: What and How” will be held on Friday, 25th August 2017  at 12 o’clock in lecture room F141 (Fabriikki-building).

Professor Jussi Heikkilä (Tampere University of Technology) will act as an opponent and professor Josu Takala as a custos.

Back