Mão amiga fez-me chegar a este artigo "How the Weak Win Wars" de Ivan Arreguín-Toft, publicado no Verão de 2001.
Não esquecer o "disclaimer" da parte I: é perigoso e simplista comparar a competição entre unidades económicas a uma guerra entre inimigos. A economia não é necessariamente um jogo de soma nula. No entanto, há algumas lições e paralelismos interessantes.
"how a weak actor’s strategy can make a strong actor’s power irrelevant. If power implies victory in war, then weak actors should almost never win against stronger opponents, especially when the gap in relative power is very large. Yet history suggests otherwise: Weak actors sometimes do win. The question is how.Depois, o autor lança uma série de hipóteses:
Since Thucydides, the root principle of international relations theory has been that power implies victory in war. Thus, in asymmetric conflicts the strong actor should almost always win. Indeed this expectation is on balance supported. Yet if one divides the roughly 200-year period covered in the Correlates of War data set, two related puzzles emerge. First, weak actors were victorious in nearly 30 percent of all asymmetric wars, which seems high given the >= 5:1 asymmetry represented here. Second, weak actors have won with increasing frequency over time. If relative power explains outcomes, and structure of the conflict is held constant as in Figure 2, conflict outcomes should not shift over time as they have.What explains both strong-actor defeat in asymmetric wars (Moi ici: A concorrência imperfeita também joga muito neste campo da assimetria deliberada, construída... a batota) and the trend toward increasing weak-actor victories over time?
Every strategy has an ideal counterstrategy. Actors able to predict their adversary’s strategy can therefore dramatically improve their chances of victory by choosing and implementing that counterstrategy. Mao, for example, argued that “defeat is the invariable outcome where native forces fight with inferior weapons against modernized forces on the latter’s terms.” Mao’s maxim suggests that when the weak fight the strong, the interaction of some strategies will favor the weak, while others will favor the strong.
Building on Mao’s insight, I argue that the universe of potential strategies and counterstrategies can be reduced to two distinct ideal-type strategic approaches: direct and indirect. Direct approaches target an adversary’s armed forces in order to destroy that adversary’s capacity to fight. Indirect approaches seek to destroy an adversary’s will to fight."
"Hypothesis 1: When strong actors attack using a direct strategy and weak actors defend using a direct strategy, all other things being equal, strong actors should win quickly and decisively.Em busca de obter mais informação sobre este autor cheguei a uma tese "WHY THE WEAK WIN WARS: A STUDY OF THE FACTORS THAT DRIVE STRATEGY IN ASYMMETRIC CONFLICT" onde o autor classifica as diferentes interacções estratégicas da seguinte forma:
Hypothesis 2: When strong actors attack with a direct strategy and weak actors defend using an indirect strategy, all other things being equal, weak actors should win.
Hypothesis 3: When strong actors attack using an indirect strategy and weak actors defend using a direct strategy, all other things being equal, strong actors should lose.
Hypothesis 4: When strong actors employ barbarism to attack weak actors defending with a GWS, all other things being equal, strong actors should win. (Moi ici: Ter em conta a outra abordagem apresentada mais à frente)
Hypothesis 5: Strong actors are more likely to win same-approach interactions and lose opposite-approach interactions."
"Using this model, the first question is: What is the optimal strategy for the weak actor? The result shows a weak actor has a strictly dominant strategy of indirect defense. This means that no matter which strategy the strong actor attacks with, the defender achieves a more desirable strategic interaction by employing an indirect defense. There is never a situation where the weak actor could achieve a more desirable strategic interaction by using a direct defense."Ou seja, David tem tudo a ganhar em fugir de um confronto directo com Golias. Ou seja, uma PME tem tudo a ganhar em não tentar copiar as estratégias das empresas grandes, em não tentar servir os mesmos clientes.
Na parte I, no artigo "Instantly yours, for a fee" não sublinhei o pormenor dos pequenos estarem a oferecer a entrega no mesmo dia só porque a Amazon a oferece... porque se repararmos nos comentários dos clientes, não parece que seja o factor decisivo na escolha.
Como se diz aqui e já tantas vezes escrevi aqui no blogue:
"The best way to outperform your competitors is not to worry about them."Engraçado que seja Bezos da Amazon a dizê-lo:
"Começar pelo cliente e, andar para trás, até chegar à oferta"
Ouvir Bezos a partir do minuto 23, sobre negócios e o modelo mental do desporto - "a winner and a loser"