Competition Instruments Applied by Large Enterprises during the Crisis Triggered by the COVID-19 Pandemic
Purpose: This paper is intended to examine the effects of the crisis that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the selection of instruments of competition used by enterprises. A research hypothesis (H1) is advanced: at the time of the crisis that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises have employed new key instruments of competition in order to attain a better competitive standing in the market. The concept and nature of competitiveness are discussed, and instruments of competition are detailed as a dimension of competitiveness. Design/Methodology/Approach: The theoretical section of the paper is based on a comprehensive review of leading specialist literature. The hypothesis is verified by means of exploratory factor analysis, which serves to detect an optimal group of main factors and explicate correlations between observable variables. The number of factors is determined using the Cattell’s scree criterion and Kaiser criterion. Findings: The paper contains the results for a group of 253 large Polish enterprises. A factor-based model of competition instruments that have been used by enterprises at the time of the crisis that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is constructed by using exploratory factor analysis. Three factors are defined: the product, quality, and distribution that are currently being applied by enterprises. Distribution is identified as a new key instrument of competition, while the utilisation of Internet channels allows for maintaining one’s competitive status in the market. Practical Implications: The results may be taken advantage of by entrepreneurs. They constitute indications for selecting competition instruments during the crises. Originality/Value: The paper contains the authors’ original research into a representative group of large enterprises that can be generalised to the entire population assuming a level of confidence of α = 95% and maximum error of β = 6%.