The competitive advantage of nations: is Porter’s Diamond Framework a new theory that explains the international competitiveness of countries?
The focus of this article is to clarify the meaning of international competitiveness at the country level within in the context of Porter’s (1990a) thesis that countries, like companies, compete in international markets for their fair share of the world markets. At a country level, there are two schools of thought on country competitiveness: the economic school, which rejects Porter’s notion of country competitiveness, and the management school, which supports the notion of competitiveness at a country level. This article reviews and contrasts the theories pertaining to these two schools of thought with specifi c reference to trade theories and the ‘theory’ of the competitive advantage of nations originally advanced by Porter (1990a, 1997a, 1998b, 1998c, 2000). Although Porter’s Diamond Framework has been extensively discussed in the management literature, its actual contribution to the body of knowledge in the economic and management literature has never been clarified. The purpose of this article is to explain why Porter’s Diamond Framework is not a new theory that explains the competitiveness of countries but rather a framework that enhances our understanding of the international competitiveness of firms.