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Edith Penrose and the resource-based view of (international) business strategy

  • Pitelis, Christos N.

In recent years, there has been substantial interest in the work of Edith Penrose, particularly her contribution to the resource-based theory of (international) business strategy. The aim of this paper is to critically assess some recent literature, focusing, for illustrative purposes, on an article by Rugman and Verbeke (R-V). R-V's article claims that Penrose's focus was on value creation, not rents in equilibrium (the focus of the resource-based view). It also observes that the work by Penrose on the multinational enterprise did focus on value appropriation and rents, but this work was somewhat at odds with Penrose's work on the domestic firm. We claim that while Penrose's work was concerned primarily with value creation, she dealt explicitly with monopoly rents too. Her work on the multinational firm was in line with her analysis of the domestic firm. Moreover, her work has important prescriptive lessons for management practice.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

Volume (Year): 13 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 523-532

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Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:13:y:2004:i:4:p:523-532
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  1. Teece, David J., 1982. "Towards an economic theory of the multiproduct firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 39-63, March.
  2. Penrose, Perran & Pitelis, Christos, 1999. "Edith Elura Tilton Penrose: Life, Contribution and Influence," Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(0), pages 3-22.
  3. Young, Allyn A., 1928. "Increasing Returns and Economic Progress," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 38, pages 527-542.
  4. Rugman, Alan M, 1986. "New Theories of the Multinational Enterprise: An Assessment of Internalization Theory," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 101-18, May.
  5. Teece, David J., 1980. "Economies of scope and the scope of the enterprise," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 223-247, September.
  6. Yasemin Y. Kor & Joseph T. Mahoney, 2004. "Edith Penrose's (1959) Contributions to the Resource-based View of Strategic Management," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 183-191, 01.
  7. Penrose, Edith, 1973. "International Patenting and the Less-Developed Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 83(331), pages 768-86, September.
  8. Demsetz, Harold, 1973. "Industry Structure, Market Rivalry, and Public Policy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-9, April.
  9. Marris, Robin, 1999. "Edith Penrose and Economics," Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(0), pages 47-65.
  10. Demsetz, Harold, 1988. "The Theory of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 141-61, Spring.
  11. Foss, Nicolai J, 1999. "Edith Penrose, Economics and Strategic Management," Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(0), pages 87-104.
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