Internal Analysis: e-Business Competencies as Sources of Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Tawfik JelassiEmail author
  • Francisco J. Martínez-López
Part of the Classroom Companion: Business book series (CCB)


This chapter first defines the concept of core competence and discusses it in the context of e-business. It then presents the value chain concept as a way to analyze the individual steps in the value creation process. Thirdly, it introduces the virtual value chain concept and suggests ways for companies to leverage it for value creation. The chapter then describes the four virtual spaces of the ICDT (Information, Communication, Distribution, and Transaction) framework and indicates ways of using it when selecting activities suited for e-business. Finally, the move for businesses from managing an internal value chain to operating along a value network with external partners is highlighted.


Core competence Virtual value chain ICDT framework 


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Further Reading

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  4. An up-to-date discussion on collaborative value creation within the e-business framework can be found in: Nelson, M. L., Shaw, M. J., & Strader, T. J., Special Issue on “Collaborative value creation in e-business management”. Information Systems and e-Business Management, 2012, 10(1).Google Scholar
  5. Within the field of strategic management, there is a broad literature on the resource-based view. While there was already previous research on the resource-based view of the firm, most notably in 1984 with the article by Wernerfelt, B. (1984). A resource-based view of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 5(2), 171–180, this approach became popular in the mainstream management literature through the work of Prahalad, C. K., & Hamel, G. (1990, May–June). The core competence of the corporation. Harvard Business Review, pp. 79–91, and Stalk, G., Evans, P., & Shulman, L. (1992, March–April). Competing on capabilities. Harvard Business Review, pp. 57–69. M. Peteraf provides a more recent academic perspective on the resource-based view in “The cornerstones of competitive advantage: A resource-based view”, Strategic Management Journal, 1993, 14(3), 179–191.Google Scholar
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  8. For readers who are interested in the concept of core competencies in an organisational setting, see: Hunt, B. (2018, March 14). Getting the most out of your organization’s core competencies, Qualitydigest. Available at:
  9. For readers who are interested in applying core competencies in real business, see: Rigby, D. K. (2017). Management tools 2017: An executive’s guide. Bain & Company.Google Scholar


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Tawfik Jelassi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Francisco J. Martínez-López
    • 2
  1. 1.IMDLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Business Administration 1University of GranadaGranadaSpain

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