Metaphors and competitive advantage: Evaluating the use of metaphors in theories of competitive strategy

Shelby D. Hunt, Anil Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Scopus citations

Abstract

Metaphors pervade both the general marketing and competitive strategy literatures. However, a critical evaluation reveals that, notwithstanding the extensive use of metaphors in these literatures and a growing awareness of the importance of metaphors in theory development, we have yet to realize the full potential of metaphors and metaphoric transfers. Therefore, we: (1) explicate the nature of metaphor, (2) explain its problematic status in marketing, and (3) by focusing on four key metaphors for/in competitive strategy, develop a framework for evaluating the dimensions of metaphoric transfer. In short, we encourage the productive use of metaphors in competitive strategy by furthering our understanding of their role in developing competitive strategy theory, research, and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1995

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