This study investigates the relationship between the bank strategic positioning and performance. A central question in the management literature has been to identify the sources of competitive advantage that allow firms to attain and persistent superior performance over their competitors. Banks can build competitive advantages by following either a cost leadership or a differentiation strategy. Banks adopting a cost leadership strategy principally attain advantages based on operational efficiency, and hence the performance of such firms should more persist over time than other bank adopting differentiation strategy. This study documents an empirical investigation of this premise using a sample of 216 firm-years over the period 2010-2013. This study details the development of constructs using audited financial-level archival data to capture a bank's strategic positioning. These constructs are then used in empirical models that explore the persistence of bank performance. Using confirmatory factor analysis, the results of these models estimation indicate that although both cost leadership and differentiation strategies have a positive effect on contemporaneous performance, only the efficiency strategy allows a bank to achieve and maintain superior performance in the future.
Keywords: Generic strategy, efficiency, differentiation, persistence
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