Importantly, the authors also investigated the organizational factors that have facilitated SIA's chance to implement its inspirations; they used the method of illustrating its strategic position. Finally, they drew their conclusions and explored the prospective challenges for SIA.
The authors reviewed the available literature that investigated the differentiation and cost leadership, they referred to the work of (Porter, 1985) who claimed that differentiation and cost leadership has to be mutually exclusive as they require various kinds of investments across the value chain. Porter's recognized generic strategy framework and suggests that companies when looking for sustainable competitive advantage they must choose between a cost-leadership or differentiation approach, alongside with a preference about the scope of the market they are seeking to compete in. Porter argued that if a company tries to apply both would lead to inconsistency and the achievement of neither strategy. And as a result the company would be "stuck in the middle" (Porter, 1985). Since each selection should be supported and applied through relevant resource allocation decisions and other strategic actions. However, the authors have argued that SIA has effectively blended differentiation regarding market positioning and quality of offering, with a low-cost strategy regarding internal operational costs to achieve greater results. Indeed, both advanced quality and high levels of efficiency have been part of the aims and objectives of SIA since its creation, there purpose was to:
offer the top-notch quality of customer service that is safe, reliable and economical;
produce earnings that offer enough resources for investment and sufficient returns to shareholders;
offer human resource management that intrigues, increase, inspire and retain employees who contribute to the company's objectives; and
exploit productivity and utilization of all resources, (Wirtz, Heracleous and Pangarkar 2008).
The authors have used several of resources and different methodologies; the most important among them is the interviews with experts which significantly helped to draw their conclusions and outcomes. Additionally to examining database resources on SIA and the airline industry, authors have undertaken 18 in-depth interviews. The authors argued that the interview data have given them an opportunity to achieve a greater understanding of how SIA has applied its operations and internal processes to improve the main competency of cost-effective service excellence, attain sustainable competitive advantage and surpass other airlines for a long time. Authors have transcribed and analyzed these interviews to determine procedures and general themes and then they discussed them and drew the outcomes and conclusions.
The selected case study 'Singapore Airlines' was researched for over seven years and it investigated the company's strategy and competitiveness, specifically its organizational competencies which influenced the delivery of service excellence in a cost-effective manner. Then the article examined how these competencies are expanded and sustained by SIA's operational configurations and functional strategies, examples of supportive sectors; the human resource planning and internal innovation developments. The authors collected both primary and secondary data in relation to the relevant areas.
Authors started their article with defining the market,