In recent years, the notion of competence, which embodies intangible assets, skills and creative resources accumulated over time in firms, has been widely recognized and discussed.1 There has been a surge of interest in the idea of core competence. It has become the focus of attention not only among academics, but also among business consultants, journalists, government officials and indeed business leaders.2 Eastman Kodak, for example, has set themselves the goal of becoming ‘the world leader in imaging’.3 In order to achieve this goal, they have to be competitive in several functional areas, such as (1) customer focus, (2) manufacturing, (3) technology transfer, (4) reduction in product-cycle time. The separate business units which are in charge of a portfolio of apparently quite distinct imaging products are based on a cluster of competences. At Eastman Kodak, a number of core technologies have been identified, including optomechatronics, imaging science, imaging electronics, Xray-imaging material, silver halide and precision thin-film coating. The company recently launched a new product, a CD photography system, merging their traditional capabilities in silver halide with electronics.
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- Palgrave Macmillan UK
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