Open Journal of Social Sciences
2013. Vol.1, No.5, 23-26
Published Online October 2013 in SciRes (
Open Access 23
Enterprise Culture: The Headspring of the
Enterprise Competition Ability
Zhaojiang Dong
Shandong University (Weihai), Weihai, China
Received June 2013
There are many factors that can decide and affect the enterprise competition ability. From the value chain,
the article has analyzed and inquired into the formation and promotion of enterprise competition, and
think that the enterprise culture is headspring of enterprise competition ability, that the product or service
is the carrying of business enterprise competition ability and that the value chain is the guaranteeing of the
enterprise competition ability. The enterprise culture is the headspring of nutrition to the enterprise com-
petition ability; it is a key factor that affects the enterprise competition ability.
Keywords: Competition Ability; Enter pr ise C ompetition Ability; Enter pr ise C ultur e
Competition is the inevitable product of the market economy
and the objective law. In the fierce market competition, we
must keep on to improving the enterprise competition ability in
order to have an invincible position and continue to develop.
The enterprise competition ability is not achieved overnight.
Along with the enterprise growing up, the enterprise competi-
tion ability is also experiencing a relatively slow growth proc-
The Connotation of the Enterprise Competition
Ability and Its Components
Competitiveness is a very complex concept. Theory of enter-
prise competition ability includes interpretations from different
angles and different levels. For example, the comprehensive
quality of enterprise competition ability said enterprise compe-
tition ability is to point that in a competitive market, an enter-
prise has to keep more effective than other companies in pro-
viding products or services to the market, and gain profit and
their own comprehensive quality development (Jin, 2001); Pro-
ductivity said that the enterprise competition ability is a kind of
productivity reflected through an enterprise selling its products
in the market (Zhang, 1999); Then the management ability said
that, the management ability, enterprise competition ability is
the ability to be successfully engaged in business activities of
the enterprise and entrepreneurs in adapting, coordinating and
managing the external environment (Yan & Zheng, 1998); Re-
source allocation said is that the core of enterprise competition
ability is enterprise resource configuration (Li, 2001); Also
some scholars use multiple indexes to define and evaluate the
enterprise competition ability (Wang, 2002). The author be-
lieves that the enterprise competition ability is a three-dimen-
sional, dynamic concept.
First of all, enterprise competition ability is a three-dimen-
sional concept.
Enterprise competition ability seems to be a flying bullet.
The bullet that can fly far, depends on both the bullet force
the power of the ammunition, and the bullet itself qualitytex-
ture and resistance; Based upon the quality of the launcher, and
the size of the medium resistance. For businesses, the most
fundamental measure for the intensity of its competition ability,
is the profitability of the enterprise; And the discretion of the
enterprise profitability is reflected that the enterprise is better
than its competitors for providing customers with competitive
products or services. Products and services competition is face
to face direct competition between businesses, embodied in
price competition, product competition, quality competition,
service competition, etc.; Behind the competition is capital,
production equipment, management and associated logistics
support” competition, which is the technology competition,
talent competition, the management of the competition. And all
this competition can be regarded as an industrial engineer stra-
tegy competition. Entrepreneurs are not only the first focus of
the competition, but also the decision makers and commanders
of the competition.
Second, enterprise competition ability is a dynamic concept.
In 1985, World Economy Forumin the report about the
competitiveness points that in the current and future, competi-
tion ability is the ability and opportunities to design, product
and sale goods with more attractive price and quality than do-
mestic and foreign competitors in their own environment
(Zhang, 1999). Evaluation of enterprise competition ability
depends on the strength of the current, and needs to consider
the status of the enterprise’s future development even more. An
enterprise in a certain period is likely to be the leader of the
industry or a product in the price, new product development,
marketing channels and promotion, etc., playing a leading role
for other enterprise in this industry; However, it may be a mar-
ket follower in the future competition with product, technology
and marketing competition at a disadvantage. Then, it just imi-
tates or follows the market leader. So, the enterprise competi-
tion ability must be examined dynamically (Bian, 2012).
Third, the measure of enterprise competition ability is con-
stantly changing.
Open Access
People of different age, to the competitive advantage with the
enterprise also have different opinions. Before the 1950s, the
third industrial revolution in the past, a firm’s competitive ad-
vantage even more depends on enterprise resources, especially
natural resources; After World War II, with the petrochemical,
electronics, aviation and other industries and mass production
as a symbol of the coming of the fourth industrial revolution,
technology and management a re considered to be one of the
enterprise competition important weights; Since the 90s, along
with the United States of information superhighwayconstruc-
tion as the sign, the world has entered the information age.
Entering the 21st century, information technology has become
an important part of enterprise competition ability (Liu, 2008).
According to the above analyses, t he enterprises competition
ability can be divided into three fundamental levels: the outer
layer is the carrier of enterprise competition ability, embodied
in the product or service competition, which is the most direct
power contrast for enterprise competition; The middle is the
enterprise competitiveness processing workshop, embodied
in the enterprise’s resources and its configuration ability; The
inne r layer is the core of enterprise competition ability, embod-
ied in comprehensive quality of entrepreneurs, such as deci-
sion-making ability, organization and coordination ability, in-
novation ability, interpersonal ability, etc. Entrepreneur’s qual-
ity, through the enterprise culture constructed, affects the en-
terprise competition ability to be cultivated and enhanced. An-
yhow, description of the enterprises competition ability must be
three-dimensional, dynamic, and must consider how to cultivate
and promote enterprise’s competitiveness from the lasting com-
petitiveness of enterprises.
Nurture and Grow of the Enterprises
Competition Ability
Enterprises have to undergo from scratch, since the child-
hood of the change process. The enterprise competition
ability is not innate, but also to experience the process from
weak to strong. Revealing the forming process of enterprise
competition ability has important significance to cultivate
and promote enterprise competition ability.
American strategists Porter argued that: The competitive
advantage in the final analysis depends on it that the com-
pany can create value for customers (Kotter, 1999).” From
the perspective of economics, the value enterprises create
for customers is equal to the consumersbenefits (satisfac-
tion) that acquire from company provided products deduct
paid by consumers for the product cost. The much higher
enterprise creating customers value is, the more obvious
competitive advantage becomes in the market. Then, we
must continuously improve product quality and reduce pro-
duct cost, in order to improve the cost performance of ex-
isting products and bring more value to consumers. How-
ever, consumer-related products or services competition is
only a form of enterprise competitiveness. There are many
competitive advantages of enterprises, such as technical
superiority, talent advantage, management advantage, in-
novation advantage, etc. To identify the enterprise competi-
tion ability we must take enterprise activity decomposition,
by looking at the activity itself and its relationship to de-
termine the enterprise competitive advantage. To reveal and
determine the enterprise competitive advantage, and find
out the ways to enhance enterprise competition ability, Por-
ter proposed the value chain analysis.
Value activities are enterprises engaged in the material and
technical boundaries distinct activities. There are two broad
categories of value activities, namely main activities and
ancillary support activities. The main activities include re-
source inputs, production operations, product output, mar-
keting and after-sales service; the ancillary activities in-
clude research and development, procurement, logistics, hu-
man resources management and so on. From a competitive
perspective, company competitiveness in the value chain of
each link is affecting the overall enterprise competition
In the process of the cultivation and development about the
enterprise competition ability, entrepreneurship plays a key
role. Entrepreneurs are the focus of enterprises and initially
chose the nature of the enterprise, investment direction, etc.,
and also ultimately decide the development direction and
development of the enterprise scale. Entrepreneurs are bred
the enterprise competition ability, who integrate all kinds of
resources in together to form a unique competitive ability.
Entrepreneur’s comprehensive quality is the most primitive
elements of the enterprise competition ability, and the en-
terprise’s core competitiveness. Entrepreneurial decision
determines the configuration of enterprise resources, and
once the decision is wrong, it will lead to a serious decline
in enterprise competition ability. But the enterprise’s core
competitiveness, after all, is the internal. Core competitive-
ness of the enterprise only through the enterprise value
chain, would be converted into enterprise’s concrete com-
petitiveness. The enterprise competition ability depends not
only on how well each department, and how the coordina-
tion between different departments, but also on the coordi-
nation between enterprise and the external market.
On the basis of the theory of value chain, to a great extent,
we can reveal enterprise competition ability cultivati on and
growth process. Entrepreneur starting a business is like a
seed to be buried in the ground. The choice of seeds decides
enterprise future development condition. At the same time,
the quality of the land, climate, management and so on, are
also the important factors that affect seed development and
growth. In the long run, enterprise’s success or failure de-
pends on the strength of its own competitiveness, and the
most decisive factor in enterprise competitiveness is the en-
terprise core ability or core competitiveness, namely the en-
trepreneur’s comprehensive quality. Outstanding entrepre-
neur by building enterprise culture, carry out its manage-
ment concept into the enterprise management and develop-
ment of the whole process and infiltrate into various parts
of the enterprise value chain and link, which produce a
profound effect to the enterprise long-term survival and de-
Corporate Culture and Its Determinants
Pula Bernhard and Hammer, Michigan Business School pro-
fessor, who will compare the enterprise to a tree, think that a
company is like a tree; the trunk and main branch are the core
product; branch is the business unit; leaves, flowers and fruit
are the final products; to provide nutrients, sustain life, and
solid tree root is the core competitive ability (Xu, 2002). So,
what provides the big tree’s nutrition? The author believes that,
the enterprise culture is the nutrient source for enterprise com-
Open Access
petition ability to be cultivated and improved.
The so-called enterprise culture is the enterprise in a certain
ethnic culture traditions gradually formed with a sum of basic
idea about the enterprise characteristics, values, moral norms,
rules and regulations, lifestyle, cultural environment and suit-
able ways of thinking and patterns of behavior. Enterprise cul-
ture can be divided into four levels in the structure, the spiritual
and cultural level, system culture level, behavior culture and
material culture leve l.
Each company has its own unique culture of its own business
philosophy and principles, their way of problem solving and
decision making, and the staff behavior patterns, etc. From the
form, the enterprise culture belongs to the category of ideology
concept, the person’s value idea. This kind of value concept and
social ethics belong to the same category, and same kind of
intrinsic constraint, in people’s mind and concept of self-disci-
pline. From the content, enterprise culture, the value concept,
that reflecting corporate behavior and the enterprise’s practical
operation process, is the system arrangement and the strategic
choice of the enterprise reflecting on a person’s value idea.
From the nature, the value concept of enterprise culture is put
into practice. Enterprise culture is the value concept, that both
belong to embrace and advocate, and belong to value concept
be put into practice. Enterprise culture is the most fundamental
factor for constraining employee behavior and the operation
process. Thus, in terms of function, the value concept of enter-
prise culture belongs to standardize enterprise behavior, playing
a fundamental role in specification to the enterprise behavior
and staff behavior. The value concept of enterprise culture is
the real solution to the problem, not the surface symbol used for
packaging enterprise in order to look good.
Enterprise culture plays a very important role in enterprise
development. Enterprise culture is the soul of the enterprise.
The value concept of enterprise culture is actually the guidance
for enterprise and its employees, embodied in the consciousness
of each employee. Enterprise culture advocated by enterprise is
a request to people with the value concept in the system ar-
rangement and operation strategy choice. Enterprise culture is
the important ideological guarantee for the enterprise system
and management strategy, and also the ideal foundation for the
enterprise system innovation and management of strategic in-
Corporate Culture’s Influence on the
Enterprise Co mp etition Ability
Enterprise culture is put forward from the Japanese miracle
of economic development, caused the US-Japan comparative
management research boom. In the 1980s, western management
scholars had a kind of new management ideas. Then, the focus
of the enterprise management research began to run by the en-
terprise’s economic factors to non-economic factors and fo-
cused on the effects of culture on management. The enterprise
culture to enterprise long-term business performance has a sig-
nificant role; the enterprise culture in the next 10 years is
likely to be key factors determine the rise and fall of the enter-
prise” (Kotter & Heskett, 1997). The competitiveness of the
enterprise culture to enterprise’s cultivation and promotion has
important influence.
Enterprise culture is an enterprises characteristic different
from other enterprises’. The values of all the enterprise mem-
bers will infiltrate the enterprise daily production and operation
activities, affect the normal work behavior of all employees,
work attitude, spirit and business performance, etc., which can
be inflected through the enterprise final product or service, and
ultimately determines the enterprise’s market competitiveness.
Forecasters say that culture is tomorrow’s economy. To further
promote the development of enterprises and to truly become the
world first-class enterprise, enterprise must resort to the cultural
Enterprise culture is not spontaneously formed, but built by
shaping. Enterprise culture influence on enterprise competition
activity through the following several aspects:
First, the institutionalization of enterprise culture. The so-
called institutionalization of enterprise culture, in the reality it
contains two meanings: the first layer of meaning is to point
that, enterprise culture is embodied in the institutional arrange-
ment and strategic choice. While enterprise culture is reflecting
the enterprise system arrangement and strategic choice through
the value concept of people, we need to see the active function
of culture, namely the enterprise culture having a guiding role
to enterprise operation; Another layer of meaning of enterprise
culture points that, enterprise culture as a value concept advo-
cated by enterprise managers, should be gradually institutional-
ized to command staff’s thought, and in turn affects employee
and enterprise behavior.
Second, the internalization of enterprise culture. Only be-
coming a part of the staff values, enterprise culture can impact
on employee behavior lasting. The value concept, that is com-
mitted by the enterprise and must be practiced, is infiltrated to
the employeesminds by the way of instilling. Enterprise cul-
ture management cant take immediate method. That, from the
entrepreneur’s idea (subjective consciousness) into the concept
of enterprise employees, should be through a long-term practi ce
process. Entrepreneurscontribution to the society is not only
establishing the enterprise, producing products or services,
guarantying the market supplies, but more important is created
the excellent enterprise core concept, accumulated the rich
knowledge of business operation, which make the enterprise
become a powerful vitality of the organism with a soul, and
then make the enterprise keep the lasting competitiveness. Cul-
ture can only be achieved through a long time to the specifica-
tion role and control function for people. Short time assault,
make movement way and hard promotion approach, can only
be counterproductive. What it is important is penetrating the
enterprise management idea into the hearts of employees. En-
terprise culture management need to achieve spring constant
blowing and moistens everything silently.
Third, the practice of enterprise culture. Enterprise culture is
not just a corporate advocacy and espoused value concept, but
also must be put into practice. Enterprise culture comes from
practice and guides practice at the same time, which is fully
implemented into practice. Thus, the value concept of enter-
prise culture is more than advocated. In the Haier Group, the
rationality and human are combined together organically. Un-
der the strict specification system, Haier fully absorb the man-
agement philosophy, encourage personal value pursuit, and put
the enterprise culture into part of the employeesdaily work,
which make employees feel a kind of pressure everywhere and
the have the desire to do better, and then consciously norm and
constraint on their behavior.
Excellent entrepreneurs are often at the forefront in the en-
terprise culture construction. Chuanzhi Liu has attached great
importance to Lenovo’s enterprise culture construction. Leno-
Open Access
vo’s culture include: speak contribution and benefit of values;
into the international market of the common ideals; solidarity
and coordinated operations of the overall sense; truth-seeking
spirit and entrepreneurial spirit of the company; high technol-
ogy enterprise social image. Although Lenovo culture embodies
in enterprise strategic strength is not enough, its comprehen-
siveness is worth learning. Similar like Rongchang Group Pre-
sident advocating the enterprise culture (autonomy, self-disci-
pline, initiative, encourage each other and confidence), Ruimin
Zhang, the Haier President, proposes the enterprise culture as
“people-oriented, de-centered, honestly, the gentleman debate,
the polite, which has its place desired.
The quality of enterprise operators or managers decides the
rise and fall of enterprises. A lot of practices at home and
abroad proved repeatedly, every successful enterprise has an
entrepreneur as the core of high-quality management group to
support. The hugely successful enterprise is always linked with
an entrepreneurs name; the entrepreneur is the soul of the en-
terprise success. Enterprise core competition ability, namely
entrepreneur’s comprehensive quality and ability, in addition to
the correct decision of the entrepreneurs and enterprises tangi-
ble value chain into the concrete competitiveness of the enter-
prise, the other important way is shaping the unique enterprise
culture, which influences eac h employ ee ’s sense of competition
and competitive ability, and thus fundamentally improving en-
terprise overall competitiveness.
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