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Resources, Capabilities, and Routines in Public Organization


  • Klein, Peter G.

    (University of Missouri)

  • Mahoney, Joseph T.

    (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

  • McGahan, Anita M.

    (University of Toronto)

  • Pitelis, Christos N.

    (University of Cambridge)


States, state agencies, multilateral agencies, and other non-market actors are relatively under-studied in the strategic entrepreneurship literature. While important contributions examining public decision makers have been made within the agency-theoretic and transaction-cost traditions, there is little research that builds on resource-based, dynamic capabilities, and behavioral approaches to organizations. Yet public organizations can be usefully characterized as stocks of physical, organizational, and human resources; they interact with other organizations in pursuing a type of competitive advantage; they can possess excess capacity, and may grow and diversify in part according to Penrosean (dynamic) capabilities and behavioral logic. Public organizations may be managed as stewards of resources, capabilities, and routines. This paper shows how resource-based, (dynamic) capabilities, and behavioral approaches shed light on the nature and governance of public organizations and suggests a research agenda for public entrepreneurship that reflects insights gained from applying strategic management theory to public organization.

Suggested Citation

  • Klein, Peter G. & Mahoney, Joseph T. & McGahan, Anita M. & Pitelis, Christos N., 2011. "Resources, Capabilities, and Routines in Public Organization," Working Papers 11-0101, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:illbus:11-0101

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abagail McWilliams, 2002. "Raising Rivals' Costs Through Political Strategy: An Extension of Resource-based Theory," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 707-724, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. FrÄ…czkiewicz-Wronka Aldona & Szymaniec Karolina, 2012. "Resource based view and resource dependence theory in decision making process of public organisation - research findings," Management, De Gruyter Open, vol. 16(2), pages 16-29, December.

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