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     EduGorilla 
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    Directions: Read the following passage carefully and answer question that follows.

    In terms of labour, for decades, the relatively low cost and high quality of Japanese workers conferred considerable competitive advantage across numerous durable goods and consumer- electronics industries (machinery, automobiles, televisions and radios). Then, labour-based advantages shifted to South Korea, then to Malaysia, Mexico and other nations. Today, China appears to be capitalising best on the basis of labour. Japanese firms still remain competitive in markets for such durable goods, electronics and other products, but the labour force is no longer sufficient for competitive advantage over manufacturers in other industrialising nations. Such shifting of labour-based advantage is clearly not limited to manufacturing industries. Today, a huge number of IT and service jobs are moving from Europe and North America to India, Singapore and like countries with relatively well-educated, low-cost workforces possessing technical skills. However, as educational levels and technical skills continue to rise in other countries, India, Singapore and like nations enjoying labour-based competitive advantage today are likely to find such advantage cannot be sustained through emergence of new competitors.
    In terms of capital for centuries, the days of gold coins and later even paper money restricted financial flows. Subsequently, regional concentrations were formed, where large banks, industries and markets coalesced. Today, capital flows internationally at rapid speed. Global commerce no longer requires regional interactions among business players. Regional capital concentrations in places such as New York, London and Tokyo still persist, of course, but the capital concentrated there is no longer sufficient for competitive advantage over other capitalists distributed worldwide. Only if an organisation is able to combine, integrate and apply its resources (land, labour, capital and IT) in an effective manner that is not readily, imitable by competitors can such an organisation enjoy competitive advantage sustainable over time.
    In a knowledge-based theory of the firm this idea is, extended to view organisational knowledge as a resource with at least the same level of power and importance as the traditional economic inputs. An organisation with superior knowledge can achieve competitive advantage, in markets that appreciate the application of such knowledge. Semiconductors, genetic engineering, pharmaceuticals, software, military warfare and like knowledge-intensive competitive arenas provide both time-proven and current examples. Consider semiconductors (e.g. computer chips), which are made principally of sand and common metals. These ubiquitous and powerful electronic devices are designed within common office buildings, using commercially available tools and fabricated within factories in many industrialised nations. Hence, land is not the key competitive resource in the semiconductor industry.


    What is required to ensure competitive advantages in specific markets?

    Options :-

    1. Access to capital
    2. Common office buildings
    3. Superior knowledge
    4. Common metals
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