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The Resource-Based Perspective An Assessment and Diagnosis of Problems

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  • Nicolai J. Foss

Abstract

The resource-based approach to strategy, which reaches back to the contributions of Penrose, Selznick and Chandler, has gradually become the dominant perspective in strategy (content) research, arguably because it combines realism with relative rigour. The present paper presents the main themes of the contemporary version of the resource-based perspective (Wernerfelt, Rumelt, Barney....) and diagnoses a number of problems, such as the lack of a clear terminology, unclarity as to what really is the unit of analysis, the role of the environment, and the seemingly different versions that exist of the perspective. The perhaps deepest problem, however, is the lack of theorizing with respect to the creation of new resources, which tends to give the perspective a retrospective character and makes its application to managerial practice. It is suggested that resource-based scholars may draw upon work relating to real options, complementarities and organizational learning if they wish to remedy this deficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolai J. Foss, 1997. "The Resource-Based Perspective An Assessment and Diagnosis of Problems," DRUID Working Papers 97-1, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:97-1
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin, Ludivine & Penard, Thierry, 2005. "Investing in a Website: A Top Dog or a Resource-Based Strategy for Firms?," MPRA Paper 2503, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Benjamin Coriat, 2004. "The State of Organizational Reform in European Firms: Evidence from a Comparative Overview of Ten EU Countries," LEM Papers Series 2004/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    3. Jukka Kaisla, 1998. "The Market Process and the Emergence of the Firm Some Indications of Entrepreneurship Under Genuine uncertainty," DRUID Working Papers 98-17, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    4. Jeremy Galbreath, 2016. "When do Board and Management Resources Complement Each Other? A Study of Effects on Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 136(2), pages 281-292, June.
    5. Cristiano Antonelli, 2010. "Pecuniary Externalities and the Localized Generation of Technological Knowledge," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Filipe J. Sousa & Luis M. de Castro, 2004. "The strategic relevance of business relationships: a preliminary assessment," FEP Working Papers 163, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    7. Cristiano Antonelli & Federico Barbiellini Amidei, 2011. "The Dynamics of Knowledge Externalities," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13292.
    8. Bengt-Åke Lundvall & Frank Skov Kristensen, 1997. "Organisational Change, Innovation and Human Resource Development as a Response to Increased Competition," DRUID Working Papers 97-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    9. Dieter Ernst, 1999. "Responses to the Crisis Constraints to a Rapid Trade Adjustment in East Asia´s Electronics Industry," DRUID Working Papers 99-2, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    10. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2003. "The Governance of Technological Knowledge: Strategies, Processes and Public Policies," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200306, University of Turin.
    11. Keld Laursen, 1998. "Do Export and Technological Specialisation Patterns Co-evolve in Terms of Convergence or Divergence? Evidence From 19 OECD Countries, 1971-1991," DRUID Working Papers 98-18, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    12. Kapás, Judit, 1999. "Szükséges-e többdimenziós vállalatelmélet?. Az evolúciós vállalatelmélet kritikai összefoglalása
      [Is a multi-dimensional theory of the firm necessary?. A critical summary of the evolutionary theory
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 823-841.
    13. Joaquín Azagra-Caro & Rafael Pardo & Ruth Rama, 2014. "Not searching, but finding: how innovation shapes perceptions about universities and public research organisations," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 454-471, June.
    14. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2007. "Localized Appropriability: Pecuniary Externalities in Knowledge Exploitation," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200710, University of Turin.
    15. Paolo Pini & Grazia Santangelo, 2005. "Innovation types and labour organisational practices: A comparison of foreign and domestic firms in the Reggio Emilia industrial districts," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 251-276.
    16. Kirsten Foss & Nicolai J. Foss, 1999. "Organizing Economic Experiments The Role of Firms," DRUID Working Papers 99-5, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    17. Stephen Dunn, 2000. "Fundamental Uncertainty and the Firm in the Long Run," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 419-433.
    18. Ernesto Tavoletti & Corrado Cerruti, 2012. "Business Incubation: The Case of the European Space Agency," DSI Essays Series, DSI - Dipartimento di Studi sull'Impresa, vol. 29.
    19. Voigt, Tim & Kuhl, Rainer, 2007. "Dynamic Capabilities in the Food Industry? - On the Applicability of the Evolutionary Orientated Resource Based View of Firm," 2007 1st Forum, February 15-17, 2007, Innsbruck, Austria 6614, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
    20. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2003. "The Economics of Governance: the Role of Localized Knowledge in the Interdependence Among Transaction, Coordination and Production," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200303, University of Turin.
    21. Galbreath, Jeremy, 2017. "Drivers Of Environmental Sustainability In Wine Firms: The Role And Effect Of Women In Leadership," Working Papers 253851, American Association of Wine Economists.
    22. Riccardo Leoncini & Sandro Montresor & Giovanna Vertova, 2003. "Dynamic capabilities: evolving organisations in evolving (technological) systems," Working Papers (-2012) 0304, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Organizational learning strategy;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights

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