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Assessing the Resource Base of Japanese and U.S. Auto Producers: A Stochastic Frontier Production Function Approach

  • Marvin B. Lieberman

    ()

    (Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095-1481)

  • Rajeev Dhawan

    ()

    (J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia 30303)

The "resource-based view of the firm" has become an important conceptual framework in strategic management but has been widely criticized for lack of an empirical base. To address this deficit, we utilize a new method for identifying interfirm differences in efficiency within the context of stochastic frontier production functions. Using data on Japanese and U.S. automobile manufacturers, we develop measures of resources and capabilities and test for linkages with firm performance. The results show the influence of manufacturing proficiency and scale economies at the firm and plant level. We apply the parameter estimates to account for Toyota's superior efficiency relative to other producers.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1050.0416
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Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 51 (2005)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Pages: 1060-1075

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:51:y:2005:i:7:p:1060-1075
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  1. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  2. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and the Sustainability of Competitive Advantage: Reply," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1514-1514, December.
  3. Marvin B. Lieberman & Lieven Demeester, 1999. "Inventory Reduction and Productivity Growth: Linkages in the Japanese Automotive Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(4), pages 466-485, April.
  4. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1504-1511, December.
  5. Shantanu Dutta & Om Narasimhan & Surendra Rajiv, 1999. "Success in High-Technology Markets: Is Marketing Capability Critical?," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(4), pages 547-568.
  6. Sharon Novak & Steven D. Eppinger, 2001. "Sourcing By Design: Product Complexity and the Supply Chain," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 189-204, January.
  7. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2003. "Beyond Incentive Pay: Insiders' Estimates of the Value of Complementary Human Resource Management Practices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 155-180, Winter.
  8. Norsworthy, J R & Malmquist, David H, 1983. "Input Measurement and Productivity Growth in Japanese and U.S. Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 947-67, December.
  9. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 1999. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Systems on Economic Performance: An International Comparison of U.S. and Japanese Plants," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(5), pages 704-721, May.
  10. Marvin B. Lieberman & Shigeru Asaba, 1997. "Inventory Reduction and Productivity Growth: A Comparison of Japanese and US Automotive Sectors," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 73-85.
  11. Glenn MacDonald & Michael D. Ryall, 2004. "How Do Value Creation and Competition Determine Whether a Firm Appropriates Value?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(10), pages 1319-1333, October.
  12. Jay B. Barney, 1986. "Strategic Factor Markets: Expectations, Luck, and Business Strategy," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(10), pages 1231-1241, October.
  13. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-44, June.
  14. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-32.
  15. Henderson, Rebecca. & Cockburn, Iain., 1994. "Measuring competence? : exploring firm effects in pharmaceutical research," Working papers 3712-94., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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