quinta-feira, agosto 16, 2012

É muito mais do que o confronto de um jogo de soma-nula

Como o mainstream do pensamento económico só conhece a variável preço e, como pensa que tudo se resume a uma competição pelo preço mais baixo a apresentar a um consumidor racional, que só olha para o preço como factor de diferenciação, é fácil perceber o raciocínio do jogo de soma nula: se não ganhamos nós ganham eles. Se ganham eles não temos espaço para nós, ficamos perdidos.
Deste raciocínio é fácil partir para uma atitude de confronto: ou eles ou nós. Temos de ocupar aquela posição, temos de chegar primeiro, ou temos de os expulsar de lá.
Peter Johnson em "Astute Competition: The Economics of Strategic Diversity" chama a atenção para esta maneira de ver o mundo:
"the widespread assumption that greater relative experience conferred relative cost advantages led many businesses to pursue strategies that were hugely confrontational. In some industries (still comprising many distinct ecosystems) confrontation as a mode of competitive behaviour appeared to pay off (semiconductors for the most part, displays too), but in many others what resulted was a Pyrrhic blood bath (for example, steel, pulp and paper).
Before a business acquiesces in all-out confrontation, it needs to satisfy itself that two alternative modes of competition are played-out or unavailable. The first is avoidance — through uniqueness or innovation; the second is coexistence. Clearly, these two modes echo the parallels in economics of monopoly and oligopoly. We can use the choice of mode to define the competitive posture of a business.
Sometimes, unique business solutions arise because only a single business, as a matter of fact, has the knowledge or capability to satisfy demand, but unique circumstances may also arise for legal reasons, either relating to monopolies or patents etc. Here, the ground is well covered by traditional economics.
Uniqueness, however, may also arise in a more dynamic, transient fashion in markets that we consider to be well contested. A business may be unique in the sense that no competitor is at that very moment able to replicate the economic capability of that business in the eyes of customers. Perhaps, subsequently, a competitor will be able to develop a matching capability, but the starting business may have further enhanced its capability in the meantime.
In a coexistential mode, on the other hand, we can envisage non-collusive business model adaptation by competitors as a consequence of serendipity, relative strengths, timing or momentum in the pursuit of opportunity. Such adaptation permits coexistence by minimising confrontation."
Depois, Peter Johnson vai buscar uma imagem que já usei aqui e que costumo usar em acções de formação:
"From a game-theoretic perspective, we can anticipate learned non-confrontational behaviour in a repeated non-zero sum environment. Like birds that live at different levels on a tree, businesses may site themselves in different parts of an ecosystem. Business development and rational expansion may favour the deepening of differentiated behaviour without the presumed backdrop of oligopoly. The birds that now thrive at the top of the tree may represent the survivors from a larger group, many of whom fed less well at other levels on the tree because they were less suited for that set of conditions. ... Typically, when the differentiation becomes acute, the existing strategic ecology evolves to create a new defensible ecosystem within which there is a pioneer: a new opportunity for a unique mode of competition rather like the splitting of an amoeba cell."
E isto, conjuga-se perfeitamente com as ideias do meu guru sobre o sucesso das mittelstand alemãs, Hermann Simon. Recordo o capítulo 2 de "Manage For Profit Not For Market Share", ou seja, "Learn to Compete Peacefully":
"Peaceful competitors build an entire market strategy around preserving or increasing profits. They refuse to see themselves locked in a zero-sum competition for market share, which fosters a "kill or be killed" mentality. They would rather be different than be the ultimate "winner"."

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