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Globalisation has reached a mature stage. This is also indicated by the emergence of global crises (for example the Global Financial Crisis, the sovereign debt crises, the migrant and refugee crises) and global responses (such as changes of political direction in the USA, UK, the EU and BRIC nations, the Sustainable Development agenda of the UN). It is within this global context that systems, countries, nations, businesses and individuals compete, framed by the no longer questionable resource constrained environment. The study of competition in this globalised context is defined by the term international competitiveness. Competitiveness is a portfolio of attributes of entities distinguishing themselves from others by means of their performance (Porter, 1985; Stojcic, 2012; Wach, 2014). Competitiveness is present at three different levels of economic aggregation: micro, mezzo and macro levels (Perényi, 2016). Firm (micro) level competitiveness is presented in the literature as competitive performance and potential; competitive advantage; and competitive strategies (Buckley, Pass, & Prescott, 1988). Industry and cluster (meso) level competitiveness is linked with structural, institutional and resource factors (Porter, 2003) with a spatial dimension (Stojcic, 2012). DiRienzo, Das, & Burbridge (2007) define country (macro) level competitiveness as a collection of hard and soft factors influencing a country’s productivity, and consequentially its ability to grow over time. These levels of competitiveness are conceptually linked (Chikán, 2008), and are in constant interaction with each other (Cho & Moon, 2013).

This themed issue of EBER aimed to capture the interaction between these complementary levels of competitiveness, in an international context. The editors invited articles which address international competitiveness as a field of research, drivers of competitivenessin an international context, interaction between national, cluster and firmlevel competitiveness, global and regional characteristics of competitive processes, and methods and experiences of governing competitiveness for businesses.


international competitiveness



  1. Ambastha, A., & Momaya, K. (2004). Competitiveness of Firms: Review of Theory, Frameworks, and Models. Singapore Management Review, 26(1), 45-61.
  2. Buckley, P.J., Pass, C.L., & Prescott, K. (1988). Measures of International Competitiveness: A Critical Survey. Journal of Marketing Management, 4(2), 175-200.
  3. Chikán, A. (2008). National and firm competitiveness: a general research model. Competitiveness Review, 18(1/2), 20-28.
  4. Cho, D.S. & Moon, H.C. (2013). From Adam Smith to Michael Porter Evolution of Competitiveness Theory. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Company.
  5. DiRienzo, C., Das, J., & Burbridge, J. (2007). Does diversity impact competitiveness? A cross country analysis. Competitiveness Review, 17(3), 135-152.
  6. Laureti, T. & Viviani, A. (2011). Competitiveness and productivity: a case study of Italian firms. Applied Economics, 43(20), 2615-2625.
  7. Perényi, Á. (2016). Diagnosing cluster competitiveness using firm level data in the profit-growth nexus framework. Acta Oeconomica, 66(3), 469-463.
  8. Porter, M.E. (1985). Competitive advantage. New York: The Free Press.
  9. Stojcic, N. (2012). Theoretical Foundations and Measurement of Competitiveness. Poslovna Izvrsnost, VI(2), 143-166.
  10. Wach, K. (2014). The Theoretical Modelling of the Firm-Level International Competitiveness in Business Studies. In D. Kiendl-Wendner & K. Wach (Eds.), International Competitiveness in Visegrad Countries: Macro and Micro Perspectives (pp. 101-121). Graz: Fachhochschule Joanneum.


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