Competitive strategy of small ﬁrms: the two mechanisms of competitive advantage
Introduction Following recent changes in global business environments, the competitiveness of manufacturing ﬁrms in Japan is beginning to be recognized (Fujimoto, 2004). However, this argument focuses on large manufacturing ﬁrms. By contrast, the attention paid to small manufacturing ﬁrms (SMFs) is insufﬁcient and thus we need to articulate the competitiveness of these ﬁrms, which underpin the strength of manufacturing capabilities in Japan. The examination of the competitiveness of Japanese SMFs may help researchers understand their distinct characteristics for the ﬁrst time. Therefore, this study captures the fundamental factors that bring about their competitiveness.