As business organisations strive for progression, their direction will often be guided by an aspirational vision or mission but articulated in the form of business objectives, business strategy and the stewardship and policy to deliver them. These will include the allocation of complementary assets, which need to be combined through the strategy setting process. Such assets may include technological know-how but also distribution channels, process or system capabilities or competence across value chain activities such as after sales service. To be effective will require coherence—an alignment between expectation and reality; congruence—where elements of the strategy are integrated and reinforce each other; and consistency—between intention and action. In this regard there is an essential understanding within the organisation that the performance of the whole organisation will be improved when there is complementarity between elements of business strategy. Hence, complementarities will be sought for example between the finance strategy and the marketing strategy or between the production strategy the people or human resources strategy. Complementarity is the antithesis of singularity. The hypothesis is that single issue competitive advantage may not be the only option available to organisations in future. As such, prosperity will not only come about by pace and agility; or by cost leadership or differentiation; but by the ability to make sure that every investment creates advantage across the whole organisation; and that such investments are mutually reinforcing.


  • Business strategy
  • Competitive progression
  • Alignment
  • Agility

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Turner, P. (2022). Complementarity and Business Strategy. In: Complementarity in Organizations. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-10654-5_4

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