Few degrees prepare you to successfully take on a senior leadership role in an organization better than a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Management. With an emphasis on developing a variety of soft and hard skills like analytical reasoning, networking, leadership and communication, an MBA degree draws on an array of proficiencies to ensure you can rise to the top of your chosen profession. One of the most essential courses in an MBA in Management program is the study of competitive advantage.
What Is Competitive Advantage?
An organization or business is said to have a competitive advantage when it generates and sustains more profits than its competitors in the same business arena. Gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage is a central business strategy for the majority of organizations. Economist Michael Porter (who is generally viewed as a leader in the field of competitive advantage) describes two forms of advantages a business can attain in relation to its business competitors: cost advantage and differentiation advantage.
An organization has a competitive advantage when it can deliver the same benefits or products as its rivals but at a lower cost (known as a cost advantage). A differentiation advantage is when a company can give consumers more benefits than its competitors. With a competitive advantage, a business can extend greater value to its customers and, in doing so, earn greater profits.
Why Is It Important to Study Competitive Advantage?
An organization must decide whether to achieve maximum prosperity by offering a service or product that is either more economically priced or provides greater benefits to its consumers. Managers and senior executives will play lead roles in deciding how companies should pursue competitive advantages. For this reason, a sophisticated understanding of how to set a company apart is a critical aspect of excelling as a manager.
It is clear that achieving — and then sustaining — competitiveness is vital to a company’s success. For this reason, a competitive advantage course is an integral part of many MBAs in Management or online MBA programs’ curricula. It is imperative that a company understands this essential business tool thoroughly in order to outperform its rivals; it is equally important for a company to know how to maintain a competitive advantage over the long term. It follows that an MBA graduate who has taken a competitive advantage course will be especially attractive to organizations looking for people who know how to offer customers the most attractive product or service in any given industry.
MBA Programs and Competitive Advantage
Some MBA programs, including the one at Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU), offer a competitive advantage course. In this course, participants study a variety of concepts and tools that are necessary to create and sustain a competitive advantage. Students enrolled in the MBA in Management at SOSU will study value-chain analysis, and they will learn vital techniques for analyzing businesses and their rivals, while focusing on the creation of competitive strategy and strategic decisions. To accommodate the needs of prospective students who may already be working full-time or who have family responsibilities, SOSU also offers the flexibility of earning a degree through its online MBA program.
Graduates with the well-honed ability to analyze why and how an organization can achieve a competitive advantage will have a valuable skill that companies seek to dominate their business competitors. In this manner, an MBA graduate’s ability to help a firm attain a competitive advantage is, in fact, his or her very own competitive advantage — it will help those entering the job market stand out against competing job seekers.
Learn more about the SOSU online MBA in Management program.