Recipient of EliteForsk travel scholarship examines hyper-competition
The Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science has awarded this year's EliteForsk travel scholarships, and two of them have gone to PhD students from Roskilde University. The EliteForsk travel scholarships go to particularly talented PhD students to enable them to undertake long-term study visits to strong international research environments. Each travel scholarship is worth DKK 200,000.
One of the PhD students from Roskilde University is Annesofie Lindskov, who will examine the competitive trends in Europe, the USA, Japan and China since 1980. Her PhD project is partly funded by the Sino-Danish Center, and the project is divided between the Department of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde University and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In her project, Annesofie Lindskov will examine whether industries globally are driven by increasingly fierce competition, so-called hyper-competition.
“Since 1990, many researchers and practitioners have pointed out that across industries, we may be moving towards hyper-competition. In that case, companies will have to fight for their survival and may have difficulty building long-term competitive advantages. If this is the case, companies should invest heavily in innovation, disruption, etc. But it is not certain that all industries will face increased competition. If the competition is not really escalating, but the company management believes it is, there is a risk that they will spend resources on unnecessarily developing new competencies, instead of strengthening the existing ones”, says Annesofie Lindskov and adds:
“In the project, I try to measure this competitive development, as the empirical evidence is very ambiguous and does not include data after the turn of the millennium. In the project, I use data from listed companies. The preliminary results of the project show that not all industries are necessarily characterised by hyper-competition, as otherwise assumed, but that there is a need for a more nuanced understanding of the tendencies of the competition structure”, she says.
Expand international network
She has examined the development of the competitive structure in for example the global technology sector. The sector was primarily dominated by the United States, with Europe as a small actor, until the 1980s, when companies from Japan expanded. Since the turn of the millennium, Chinese companies have challenged traditional actors in the industry. Despite these movements between the USA, Europe, Japan and China, preliminary results from Annesofie Lindskov's study show that the industry in general has not been characterised by increasing competition since the turn of the millennium. There are also no indications of hyper-competition across industries in Denmark. On the other hand, there is a difference in the competitive intensity between industries. A number of these results have already been published in the journal “Industry and Innovation”, in collaboration with her supervisors Professor Kristian J. Sund and Associate Professor Johannes K. Dreyer.
The EliteForsk travel grant will enable Annesofie Lindskov to travel to the University of Kentucky and Michigan State University and be part of the research environments at the two American universities for an extended period. At the two universities, she will be able to follow researchers specialising in both empirical and theoretical studies of competition, including hyper-competition in particular.
“The research stay in the USA will give me the opportunity to expand my academic network and present my research to prominent researchers in the field of hyper-competition. In addition, I will be able to develop my theoretical knowledge and skills about competition strategies and gain knowledge of other methods that I can use to investigate hyper-competition and its possible effects on industry, business and at individual level, including management level”, says Annesofie Lindskov.
Together with her supervisors Professor Kristian J. Sund and Associate Professor Johannes K. Dreyer, Roskilde University, and Professor Jiang Yu from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Annesofie Lindskov is working on a scientific article on the technology sector.