Attaining a Sustainable Competitive Advantage from an Entrepreneurial Identity
This study demonstrates that an entrepreneur’s identity can serve as the foundation for the implementation of a business strategy and details the processes and mechanisms that impact the achievement of a sustainable competitive advantage.
To achieve this, a case study was performed on Yamamoto Precious Metal Co., Ltd. – which has a
competitive advantage in the field of dental metal materials in Japan – and the company’s de facto
founder, Hirohisa Yamamoto. This study analyzes Yamamoto Precious Metal Co., Ltd. as a successful Assess, Design, Implement – Shared Mental Model (OADI-SMM), a framework that joins individual learning with organizational learning. This study identifies the content of individual learning undertaken by the entrepreneur, individual learning administered to employees, and organizational learning undertaken at Yamamoto Precious Metal Co., Ltd. The study also clarifies the connections between these three types of learning.
As a result, the study reveals that the entrepreneur’s identity was created as a mental model through the entrepreneur’s OADI cycle, and then developed into an organizational model, while being incorporated into a shared mental model. This not only influenced the individual learning undertaken by Yamamoto’s employees, but also served as the foundation for organizational learning and organizational behavior. Furthermore, the company created a virtuous cycle in its use of the OADI-SMM, influencing its sustainable competitive advantage. This analysis of the successful case of Yamamoto Precious Metal Co., Ltd. was effective in clarifying the connection between individual learning and organizational learning created by a connection between the formation of an organizational identity and the implementation of the organization’s strategy. However, there are limitations to the universal validity of the study, as it is a single case study with a high theoretical dependence on OADI-SMM.