Saturday, July 3, 2010

Review of Blue Ocean Strategy Research Paper

In the following post as a part of his research activity the author attempts to review and analyze a Blue ocean strategy based research paper

Planning with Blue Ocean strategy in
The United Arab Emirates

Colin Butler
College of Business and Economics, UAE University, United Arab Emirates

Type of paper:-Analyzing the condition of BOS in UAE

The research paper published in Strategic Change (August,2008) analyses the condition and scope for BOS in UAE. The article starts off with some theoretical description of the blue ocean strategy followed by the findings of a research work conducted among the managers of UAE. In the end the article also attempts to give some recommendations that can be included in the strategic frame work of UAE based companies so that BOS can be used more efficiently.

The methodology used is questionnaire based survey followed by their analysis with the help SPSS software. After conducting a pilot study on five  UAE based managers a fully fledged test is conducted where 300 questionnaires were send to managers all across UAE, the questionnaire was based on manager’s opinion about issues of strategy change such as getting into uncontested markets, trying to capture non customers, trying to focus on 2 or3 key attributes of the value chain etc. the questionnaire also attempted to know the size & type of the companies, their country of origin etc.

The major findings of the research are:-

1> SMEs were more open to adopt BOS.

2> There was a positive correlation between using a differentiated and low cost strategy and which all factors should be eliminated from the value chain.

3> There was a positive correlation between raising the bar of certain activities above the average level , becoming more functional and putting less emphasis on personal relationships( which often ends up consuming a great deal of time and money)


1> In the context of UAE it had been seen that their customer base is highly differentiated and a lot of emphasis is given to the demographic profile of the customer. The research recommends that rather than profiling their customer as Europeans, Indians, Africans, Arabs, Americans, Hispanics etc and giving highly customized solutions to them the business houses should try to figure out few needs which are common in all the demographics and based on that they should try to give a low cost solutions that can be well received by all of them.

2> Business houses at UAE put a lot of emphasis on personal relationship with their customers. This might be an hindrance in implementing BOS. Rather than going the personal relationship way the research suggests that they should try using IT services in communicating with their customers and should spend less time and effort in personal face to face kind of relationships. IT services and call centers will also enable them to capture customers all across the globe.

Scope for further Improvement:-

Though the paper does give some valuable recommendations but it is not industry specific. Use of industry specific suggestions would have served the purpose better.

In general the article is a good read for general readers who are interested in understanding BOS as a concept along with managers and entrepreneurs who are situated in UAE to understand BOS in their context.


  1. Thank you for sharing this article.
    As an additional Blue Ocean Strategy resource, you might like to visit .
    All blue oceans ahead!

  2. Senior Global Blue Ocean Strategy Member Dr. Zunaira Munir will conduct a Blue Ocean Strategy executive training session at the University of California Irvine on August 5, 2010 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.