Current research

Competitive Advantage New Zealand (CANZ) current research programme is building on the basis of knowledge already established with the following projects:

Competitive advantage for New Zealand in the e-economy

CANZ is now working with leading New Zealand exemplars of the e-economy. These are companies which have demonstrated world-class capability in the new economy technologies of ICT, or which have used these technologies powerfully to establish competitive advantage in more traditional businesses. We are interested to discover if the sources of advantage and paths of development evident in these firms differ in any way from those already uncovered by CANZ.

Competitive advantage since de-regulation

The first group of CANZ exemplars were selected to have histories that pre-dated the reforms of the mid-1980s. We are now working with a group of companies that have grown up since the reform period, in an environment of significantly increased competitive pressure and global access. We want to know if these conditions of greater challenge and potential have changed in any way the development of competitive capabilities by these younger New Zealand exemplars.

Advantage from knowledge networks

One consequence of New Zealand’s new economic structures is a greater potential to participate in knowledge-based networks that link enterprises to knowledge-creating institutions both at home and offshore. Given the salient role that innovation has played in the launching of CANZ exemplars to positions of global leadership (see research highlights) we are keen to learn how contemporary New Zealand firms are using these networks to build knowledge-based advantages for the global market.

Advantage from clusters

In his 1990 review of the New Zealand economy (Upgrading New Zealand’s Competitive Advantage) Michael Porter commented that New Zealand was apparently making little use of the regionally-based clusters of internationally-competitive businesses which characterised positions of world leadership in other economies. We are working with the film cluster in Wellington, and the boat-building cluster in Waitakere City to learn more about how international advantage is built up over time within clusters of inter-dependent firms, and in the New Zealand context.