Strategic Tacit Knowledge-Based Competitiveness

Strategic Tacit Knowledge-Based Competitiveness

Khaled Tamzini (Central School of Law and Management, Tunisia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6457-9.ch009
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Abstract

By using the resource-based view as a theoretical framework, the purpose of this chapter is to explain the internal sources of competitiveness in Tunisian firms operating in the industry of Information Communication and Technology (ICT). In other words, how do firms within this industry build their competitive advantage and performance? Based on the results of the academic research undertaken in 2012 on a sample of 209 Tunisian ICT firms, the author explains how strategic tacit knowledge (seen as strategic resource) allows the firms to gain a sustainable competitive advantage and superior performance. In addition, it provides researchers with an empirical method to operationalize tacit knowledge appropriately, as well as competitive advantage and performance. It also focuses on the exploration of the relationship between these three variables, demonstrating that competitive advantage mediates the impact of tacit knowledge on performance. Finally, this chapter is considered an attempt to respond to criticism formulated against the resource-based view.
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Introduction

The industry of information technology and communication (ICT) in Tunisia has experienced in recent years a profound change through the implementation of a coherent strategy for the development of the industry in line with technological and economic developments occurring on a global scale. Thus, strategic plans have developed in the context of five-year plans for economic and social development (see Table 1). The industry of information technology and communication in Tunisia is regulated by the Ministry of Communication, Technology and Transport, which is responsible for the establishment of a regulatory framework governing the industry, its planning and control. I.T.C industry is composed of more than 1,800 companies (800 SSII, 500 systems integrators, 600 distributors and resellers), 219 shared service centers employing 17,500 people, 3,000 to 4,000 jobs created per year, 12 internet service providers serving the entire country, 8 development centers serving multinationals, a teledensity of 98.8 lines per 100 inhabitants, over 3 million internet users with an annual growth of 38%, 184 certified auditors in computer security, 7 cyber parks spread across several regions and 7 others nearing completion (Source: API: Agency for the Promotion of Industry and Innovation). Hence, Tunisian ICT industry is amongst sectors with high mobility of knowledge and strong competitiveness.

Table 1.
Performance and future goals of ICT sector
Aggregates of the ICT sector10th Plan 2002-200611th Plan
2007-2011
Average annual growth rate of the sector's value added (%)2017,5
Contribution of the ICT sector to GDP813,5
Volume of Investments (million dinars)53026300
Telecommunications32043856
Information Technology (IT)20982444
% of ICT investments13,110
Job creation in ICT (in thousands)3050
ICT share in total job creation (%)811,7
Value of exports of the ICT sector (Millions of dinars)220350

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