Our Approach

The DD-Based 9-Factor Model

One of the most effective approaches toward understanding competitiveness is Porter’s (1990) Diamond Model (Moon, 2018). This was then extended by later scholars into two directions. One is the Double Diamond Model (Rugman and D'Cruz, 1993; Moon, Rugman, and Verbeke, 1995, 1998), which extends the scope of national competitiveness including both domestic and international dimensions. The other is the 9-Factor Model (Cho, 1994), which distinguishes the sources of national competitiveness to include both physical and human factors.


Based on these two extensions, a new comprehensive model was introduced by integrating them into one framework (Cho and Moon, 2013a, 2013b; Cho, Moon, and Kim, 2008, 2009; Cho, Moon, and Yin, 2016). The new model was named as the Double Diamond (DD)-Based 9-Factor Model, which is the underlying analytical framework of our National Competitiveness Research. For this survey, we measure the competitiveness of more than 60 countries and regions using the DD-Based 9-Factor Model. The scope of national competitiveness encompasses both domestic and international contexts, and the source of national competitiveness is composed of both physical and human factors. Physical factors include four elements, consisting of Factor Conditions, Demand Conditions, Related Industries, and Business Context, while human factors include four other elements – Workers, Politicians & Bureaucrats, Entrepreneurs, and Professionals (see figure 1). The eight factors of national competitiveness in the DD-Based 9-Factor Model are composed of 16 sub-factors, which are further made up of 104 criteria. About half (63) of the criteria are hard data, and the other half (41) are soft data conducted in this research.


  • Cho, D. S. 1994. A dynamic approach to international competitiveness: The case of Korea. Journal of Far Eastern Business, 1(1): 17-36.

  • Cho, D. S. and Moon, H.C. 2013a. From Adam Smith to Michael Porter: Evolution of Competitive Theory. Extended ed. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing.

  • Cho, D. S. and Moon, H.C. 2013b. International Review of National Competitiveness: A Detailed Analysis of Sources and Rankings. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

  • Cho, D. S., Moon, H. C., and Kim, M. Y. 2008. Characterizing international competitiveness in international business research: A MASI approach to national competitiveness. Research in International Business and Finance, 22(2): 175-192.

  • Cho, D. S., Moon, H. C., and Kim, M. Y. 2009. Does one size fit all? A dual double diamond approach to country-specific advantages. Asian Business and Management, 8(1): 83-102.

  • Cho, D. S., Moon, H. C., and Yin, W. 2016. Enhancing national competitiveness through national cooperation: The case of South Korea and Dubai. Competitiveness Review, 26(5): 482-499.

  • Moon, H. C. 2018. The Art of Strategy: Sun Tzu, Michael Porter, and Beyond. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • Moon, H. C., Rugman, A. M., and Verbeke, A. 1995. The generalized double diamond approach to international competitiveness. In A. Rugman, J. Van Den Broeck, and A. Verbeke (Eds.), Research in global strategic management: Volume 5: Beyond the diamond (pp. 97–114). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

  • Moon, H. C., Rugman, A. M., and Verbeke, A. 1998. A generalized double diamond approach to the global competitiveness of Korea and Singapore. International Business Review, 7(2): 135-150.

  • Porter, M. E. 1985. Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. New York: Free Press.

  • Porter, M. E. 1990. The Competitive Advantage of Nations. New York: Free Press.

  • Rugman, A. M. and D’Cruz, J. R. 1993. The “double diamond" model of international competitiveness: The Canadian experience. Management International Review, 33(2): 17-40.

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