Cultura nacional e vantagem competitiva em mercados de exportação
: o caso da M&A Creative Agency

  • Bernardo Maria de Seabra Neves de Carvalho Simões (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Portugal's competitiveness is a subject of intense debate. Several perspectives and assumptions have been made over the last decades about the best way to do it. However, it is noted that the defined approaches are not effective in the current international division of labor. In this dissertation it is suggested looking at the national culture to define how to compete in this scenario. This suggestion arises from the identification of three idiosyncratic characteristics of Portuguese culture: particularism, traditionalism, and polychronism. It is recognized that competitiveness should be based on organizational capabilities and not on resources such as organizational culture. In the case of Portuguese exporting companies, three valuable, rare, and difficult to imitate organizational capabilities are identified: customization, modularity, and agility. Now, the relationship between these two concepts - national culture and competitive advantage - results in a premium differentiation strategy: premium flexibility. According to this, Portugal's competitiveness is based on particularistic, traditional and polychronic values and translates into a customized, modular, and agile offer, charged internationally at a premium price. Competitors recognize these processes as superior. However, they assume they cannot imitate them. The comprehension of this phenomenon led to the suggestion of the creation of a Portuguese value curve. To study this hypothesis, a single exploratory case study was adopted. A representative case of a Portuguese exporting SME was chosen: M&A Creative Agency. This is a company that provides advertising, marketing, and communication services. The case analysis allowed us to conclude that this is a solid case of premium flexibility: the offers are highly customized, they accept and value modular orders, and the agility is extreme to guarantee the maximum possible urgency in the execution of orders. Certain factors of customization, modularity, and agility were identified in this case study. The findings led to suggest the creation of a Premium Flexibility Index. It is argued that such an Index can serve for benchmarking across companies and even industries in terms of premium flexibility.
Date of Award9 Dec 2021
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorRicardo Alexandre Morais (Supervisor)


  • National culture
  • Premium flexibility
  • Case study
  • Portugal
  • M&A Creative Agency


  • Mestrado em Marketing

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