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The emergent knowledge-based theory of competitive advantage: an evolutionary approach to integrating economics and management


  • Russell W. Coff

    (Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)


This article explores the intersection of management and economics in the strategic management literature. Specifically, it examines knowledge-based advantages from management and economics perspectives to highlight differences in explanations of: (1) the source of an advantage, (2) determinants of sustainability of an advantage, and (3) the factors that predict rent appropriation patterns from a competitive advantage. I conclude that both perspectives contribute to our understanding of why firms perform differently. Furthermore, the gradual or evolutionary integration that has occurred over time is effective and efficient for exploring the nature of strategic management problems. Finally, the dynamic competitive and technological environment will continue to yield new opportunities for integration of theoretical approaches. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • Russell W. Coff, 2003. "The emergent knowledge-based theory of competitive advantage: an evolutionary approach to integrating economics and management," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 245-251.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:24:y:2003:i:4:p:245-251 DOI: 10.1002/mde.1127

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. S.A. Lippman & R.P. Rumelt, 1982. "Uncertain Imitability: An Analysis of Interfirm Differences in Efficiency under Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 418-438, Autumn.
    2. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Pablo Diánez-González & Carmen Camelo-Ordaz, 2016. "How management team composition affects academic spin-offs’ entrepreneurial orientation: the mediating role of conflict," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 530-557, June.
    2. repec:spr:manint:v:47:y:2007:i:2:d:10.1007_s11575-007-0016-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Duane Windsor, 2010. "The Role of Dynamics in Stakeholder Thinking," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 96(1), pages 79-87, August.
    4. Kudic, Muhamed & Pyka, Andreas & Sunder, Marco, 2013. "Network Formation: R&D Cooperation Propensity and Timing Among German Laser Source Manufacturers," IWH Discussion Papers 9/2013, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    5. Kudic, Muhamed & Pyka, Andreas & Günther, Jutta, 2012. "Determinants of Evolutionary Change Processes in Innovation Networks – Empirical Evidence from the German Laser Industry," IWH Discussion Papers 7/2012, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    6. Buchmann, Tobias & Hain, Daniel & Kudic, Muhamed & Müller, Matthias, 2014. "Exploring the Evolution of Innovation Networks in Science-driven and Scale-intensive Industries: New Evidence from a Stochastic Actor-based Approach," IWH Discussion Papers 1/2014, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    7. Kostas Tsekouras & Dimitris Skuras & Irene Daskalopoulou, 2008. "The role of productive efficiency on entry and post-entry performance under different strategic orientation: the case of the Greek plastics and rubber industry," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 37-55.
    8. Kudic, Muhamed & Guhr, Katja, 2013. "Cooperation Events, Ego-Network Characteristics and Firm Innovativeness – Empirical Evidence from the German Laser Industry," IWH Discussion Papers 6/2013, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    9. Zur Shapira & Gary Dushnitsky, 2011. "Entrepreneurial Finance Meets Organizational Reality: Comparing Investment Practices And Performance Of Corporate And Independent Venture Capitalists," Discussion Paper Series dp589, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    10. Khalid Abdul Wahid & Haruthai Numprasertchai & Yuraporn Sudharatna, 2013. "Construction of Knowledge Creation: A Conceptual Framework," Diversity, Technology, and Innovation for Operational Competitiveness: Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Technology Innovation and Industrial Management, ToKnowPress.
    11. Delmar, Frédéric & McKelvie, Alexander & Wennberg, Karl, 2013. "Untangling the relationships among growth, profitability and survival in new firms," Ratio Working Papers 205, The Ratio Institute.

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