IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Economics of Strategic Opportunity


  • Jerker Denrell
  • Christina Fang
  • Sidney Winter


As emphasized by Barney (1986), any explanation of superior profitability must account for why the resources supporting such profitability could have been acquired for a price below their rent generating capacity. Building upon the literature in economics on coordination failures and incomplete markets, we suggest a framework for analyzing such strategic factor market inefficiencies. Our point of departure is that a strategic opportunity exists whenever prices fail to reflect the value of a resource's best use. This paper examines the challenges of imputing a resource's value in the absence of explicit price guidance and suggests the likely characteristics of strategic opportunities. Our framework also suggests that the discovery of strategic opportunity is often a matter of serendipity and access to relevant idiosyncratic resources. This latter observation provides prescriptive advice, although the analysis also explains why more detailed guidance has to be firm specific.

Suggested Citation

  • Jerker Denrell & Christina Fang & Sidney Winter, 2003. "The Economics of Strategic Opportunity," LEM Papers Series 2003/10, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2003/10

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Makowski, Louis & Ostroy, Joseph M, 1995. "Appropriation and Efficiency: A Revision of the First Theorem of Welfare Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 808-827, September.
    2. Jay B. Barney, 1989. "Asset Stocks and Sustained Competitive Advantage: A Comment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1511-1513, December.
    3. Shleifer, Andrei, 2000. "Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292272, June.
    4. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-574, September.
    5. Paul J. H. Schoemaker, 1990. "Strategy, Complexity, and Economic Rent," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(10), pages 1178-1192, October.
    6. Kiminiori Matsuyama, 1995. "Economic Development as Coordination Problems," Discussion Papers 1123, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    7. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1504-1511, December.
    8. Jay B. Barney, 1986. "Strategic Factor Markets: Expectations, Luck, and Business Strategy," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(10), pages 1231-1241, October.
    9. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
    10. Constance E. Helfat & Marvin B. Lieberman, 2002. "The birth of capabilities: market entry and the importance of pre-history," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 725-760, August.
    11. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1996. "Whither Socialism?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691825, July.
    12. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    13. Richard Makadok & Jay B. Barney, 2001. "Strategic Factor Market Intelligence: An Application of Information Economics to Strategy Formulation and Competitor Intelligence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(12), pages 1621-1638, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2003/10. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.