Best practices, performance advantage and trade-offs: new insights from frontier analysis

Rui Sousa, Ana S. Camanho*, Maria Conceição Silva, Giovani J. C. da Silveira, Behrouz Arabi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


There are still important theoretical and empirical gaps in understanding the role of best practices (BPs), such as quality management, lean and new product development, in generating firm’s performance advantage and overcoming trade-offs across distinct performance dimensions. We examine these issues through the perspective of performance frontiers, integrating in novel ways the resource-based theory with the emergent practice-based view. Hypotheses on relationships between BPs, performance advantage, and trade-offs are developed and tested with stationary and longitudinal (recall) data from a global survey of manufacturing firms. We use data envelopment analysis, which overcomes limitations of mainstream methods based on central tendency. Our findings support the view that BPs may serve as a source of enduring competitive advantage, based on their ability to lead to a heterogeneous range of dominant and difficult-to-imitate competitive positions. The study provides new insights on contemporary debates about the role of BPs in generating performance advantage and how practitioners can sustain internal support and extract benefits from them.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Productivity Analysis
Early online date2 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Dec 2023


  • Best practices
  • Data envelopment analysis
  • Manufacturing strategy
  • Performance frontiers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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