The Ressource-Based Tangle: Towards a Sustainable Explanation of Competitive Advantage
The arguably dominant contemporary approach to the analysis of sustained competitive advantage is the resource-based view. Taking Barney (1991) and Peteraf (1993) as representative summary statements of the view, we argue that much resource-based research rests on partial, implicit and problematic assumptions, and that this has led to conclusions that are much less general than the proponents of the view believe. As an example, the widely cited value-rareness-inimitability or heterogeneity-immobility-ex post and ex ante limits to competition lists do not stand up to scrutiny. In general, the view suffers from a confusion of what are necessary conditions for the expression of sustained competitive advantage and what are additional conditions which only serve to give the expression of sustained competitive advantage a specific form. We argue that there are only two necessary conditions for the expression of sustained competitive advantage, namely uncertainty and immobility, and that all other conditions are additional.
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