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Technological Resources and the Direction of Corporate Diversification: Toward an Integration of the Resource-Based View and Transaction Cost Economics

  • Brian S. Silverman

    (Harvard Business School, Morgan Hall 243, Soldiers Field, Boston, Massachusetts 02163)

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    This study considers how a firm's resource base affects the choice of industries into which the firm diversifies. It offers two main extensions of prior research. First, it operationalizes technological resources at a more detailed level than in prior studies, thereby enabling a more stringent analysis of the direction of diversification. This analysis shows that the predictive power of the "resource-based view of the firm" is greatly improved when resources are measured at a finer level. Second, the study integrates principles from transaction cost economics into resource-based predictions concerning diversification. In particular, it tests the common assumption that rent-generating resources are too asset specific to allow contracting. The findings point to circumstances where resources can be and are exploited through contracting rather than through diversification.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.45.8.1109
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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 45 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1109-1124

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:45:y:1999:i:8:p:1109-1124
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    1. 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.
    2. Narin, Francis & Noma, Elliot & Perry, Ross, 1987. "Patents as indicators of corporate technological strength," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2-4), pages 143-155, August.
    3. Orr, Dale, 1974. "The Determinants of Entry: A Sudy of the Canadian Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 58-66, February.
    4. Cynthia A. Montgomery, 1994. "Corporate Diversificaton," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 163-178, Summer.
    5. Gollop, Frank M & Monahan, James L, 1991. "A Generalized Index of Diversification: Trends in U.S. Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 318-30, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Teece, David J., 1992. "Competition, cooperation, and innovation : Organizational arrangements for regimes of rapid technological progress," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-25, June.
    8. Cockburn, Iain & Griliches, Zvi, 1988. "Industry Effects and Appropriability Measures in the Stock Market's Valuation of R&D and Patents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 419-23, May.
    9. Lemelin, Andre, 1982. "Relatedness in the Patterns of Interindustry Diversification," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 646-57, November.
    10. Montgomery, Cynthia A. & Hariharan, S., 1991. "Diversified expansion by large established firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 71-89, January.
    11. Jay B. Barney, 1986. "Strategic Factor Markets: Expectations, Luck, and Business Strategy," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(10), pages 1231-1241, October.
    12. Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
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