Core Competence In The Internet Space

This dissertation was submitted as part requirement for the degree of Master of Business Administration of Durham University Business School. In the spirit of open-source research for non-commercial purposes, the full text of the document is available as an 811KB Adobe Portable Document Format download.

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This dissertation is an exploration of core competence of Internet organisations. The overall objective is to examine the validity of the concept of core competence within organisations that operate solely within the Internet space.

The study describes the development of a framework that can be used to assess the extent to which an organisation is currently identifying and exploiting its core competences. The framework is designed such that the assessment is conducted by examining the content provided by these organisations on the World Wide Web.

The fieldwork component of the study then applies this framework to forty-three organisations that exist purely to satisfy demand created by the existence and development of Internet activity. The framework allows each of the organisations examined to be awarded a score based upon current activity in pursuit of identification and exploitation of their core competences.

Analysis of results is performed by comparing core competence scores with financial performance. Correlation of these measures shows significant association between identification and exploitation of core competence and revenue generation. The issue of correlation versus causation is explored.

The dissertation concludes by providing a review of the approach and its results. The impact of these results is reviewed in the context of the current environment in which Internet organisations operate. This is followed by a critical examination of the validity of the conceptual framework. Recommendations for further study are proposed. Strengths and weaknesses of the empirical approach are presented, and overall achievement in respect of the original dissertation objectives is considered.