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ISSN: 2306-3483 (Online), 2071-8330 (Print)

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Achieving competitive advantage through effective communication in a global environment

Vol. 11, No 1, 2018


Uche Nwabueze


Maritime Administration Department, Texas A&M University at Galveston,

United States of America



Achieving competitive advantage through effective communication in a global environment


Joan Mileski


Maritime Administration Department, Texas A&M University at Galveston,

Unites States of America








Abstract. Considerable research has been conducted to analyze the effects of elements such as information technology, efficiency, and innovation on the performance of a company (Bhatt & Grover, 2005; Bowonder et al, 2010; Ogrean et al, 2009; Piccoli & Ives, 2005). However, company success is dependent on effective communication particularly in a multicultural and competitive global environment yet the types of effective communication that impact competitiveness have not been well explored. Although companies are aware of the importance of communication, far less attention is paid to promoting the use of effective communication within and outside the organization as compared to other factors. The Macondo oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico provides a topical case study of how global companies can suffer performance losses due to ineffective communication. Traditional views of organizational competitive advantage have failed to directly address the importance of communication as a differentiator. This paper addresses the importance of effective communication in building and maintaining performance success (Tucker et al 1996) and explores three key types of effective communication in maintaining success through competitive advantage. These three types include the right combination of “soft” and “hard” information gathering, superior interpersonal communication and the appropriate use of information and communication technologies. We use the Macondo case study as a venue to test the successes and failures of communication on performance We find where there is a lack of effective communication an organization’s global competitive ability is severely impaired. Further, we address how communication impacts the other elements that contribute to competitive advantage such as efficiency, responsive public relations and innovation. We use the findings to present strategies and recommendations to help an organization use effective communication to achieve superior customer satisfaction, encourage innovation, motivate employees, and respond to crises more effectively.



Received: August, 2017

1st Revision: October, 2017

Accepted: December, 2017


DOI: 10.14254/2071-8330.2018/11-1/4


JEL ClassificationM16

KeywordsCommunication and firm performance, metrics of communication, nature and form of communication