Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Organizational knowledge, collective practice and Penrose rents


Author Info

  • Spender, J. -C.


Recent developments in the resource-based theory of the firm have suggested that organizational knowledge is the key to competitive advantage. We argue for several different types of knowledge, developing a two-by-two matrix using the explicit-implicit and individual-social distinctions. Resource-based theory characteristically overlooks the collective knowledge and skills required to coordinate the resources into a viable bundle. It overlooks, therefore, the synergistic aspects of the organization as a system of practice. We argue that these are emergent, a result of fundamental collective learning and remembering capabilities, and the key to the firm's sustainable competitive advantage. We conclude by raising the paradox embedded in Penrose's theory of the firm, that if the collective resources built up by learning by doing give rise to Penrose rents, they are also appropriable.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

Volume (Year): 3 (1994)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 353-367

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:3:y:1994:i:4:p:353-367

Contact details of provider:
Web page:

Order Information:

Related research

Keywords: Organizational Knowledge Collective Learning Penrose Rents;


No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. van den Bosch, F.A.J. & van Wijk, R.A.J.L., 2000. "Creation of Managerial Capabilities Through Managerial Knowledge Integration," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2000-19-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  2. Glaister, Keith W. & Husan, Rumy & Buckley, Peter J., 2003. "Learning to manage international joint ventures," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 83-108, February.
  3. Spulber, Daniel F., 2012. "Tacit knowledge with innovative entrepreneurship," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 641-653.
  4. Eymann, Torsten (Ed.), 2011. "Tagungsband zum Doctoral Consortium der WI 2011," Bayreuth Reports on Information Systems Management 51, University of Bayreuth, Chair of Information Systems Management.
  5. Nicolai J. Foss, 1997. "Equilibrium vs Evolution in the Resource-Based Perspective The Conflicting Legacies of Demsetz and Penrose," DRUID Working Papers 97-10, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  6. A.K.M. Mominul Haque Talukder & Md. Irfanuzzaman Khan, 2013. "Human Resource Planning and Competitive Advantage: Investigating the Relationship," KASBIT Journal of Management & Social Science, Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology (KASBIT), vol. 6, pages 29-37, December.
  7. Iman Seoudi & Matthias Huehn & Bo Carlsson, 2008. "Penrose Revisited: A Re-Appraisal of the Resource Perspective," Working Papers 14, The German University in Cairo, Faculty of Management Technology.
  8. Kraaijenbrink, Jeroen & Spender, JC & Groen, Aard, 2009. "The resource-based view: A review and assessment of its critiques," MPRA Paper 21442, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Shameen Prashantham, 2005. "Toward a Knowledge-Based Conceptualization of Internationalization," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 37-52, January.
  10. María del Mar Benavides-Espinosa & Salvador Roig-Dobón, 2011. "The role of entrepreneurs in transferring knowledge through human resource management and joint venture," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(1), pages 117-131, March.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:3:y:1994:i:4:p:353-367. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.