Resource-based view of the firm

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The resource-based view of the firm



Alternate name(s)

Resource-based theory

Main dependent construct(s)/factor(s)

competitive advantage, organizational performance, Rents

Main independent construct(s)/factor(s)

Assets, capabilities, resources

Concise description of theory

The resource-based view (RBV) argues that firms possess resources, a subset of which enable them to achieve competitive advantage, and a subset of those that lead to superior long-term performance. Resources that are valuable and rare can lead to the creation of competitive advantage. That advantage can be sustained over longer time periods to the extent that the firm is able to protect against resource imitation, transfer, or substitution. In general, empirical studies using the theory have strongly supported the resource-based view.

Diagram/schematic of theory


Source: Wade and Hulland (2004)

Originating author(s)

Jay Barney, Edith Penrose

Seminal articles

Barney, J. B. (1986a). “Strategic factor markets: Expectations, luck and business strategy.” Management Science, 32, pp. 1512-1514.

Barney, J. B. (1986b). “Organizational culture: Can it be a source of sustained competitive advantage?” Academy of Management Review, 11, pp. 656-665.

Barney, J. B. (1986c). “Types of Competition and the Theory of Strategy: Toward an Integrative Framework.” Academic of Management Review, 11, pp. 791-800.

Barney, J. B. (1988). “Returns to bidding firms in mergers and acquisitions: Reconsidering the relatedness hypothesis.” Strategic Management Journal, 9, pp. 71-78.

Barney, J. B. (1991a). “Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage.” Journal of Management, 17, pp. 99-120.

Barney, J. B. (1991b). “The Resource Based View of Strategy: Origins, Implications, and Prospects.” Editor of Special Theory Forum in Journal of Management, 17, pp. 97-211.

Dierickx & Cool (1989). “Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage.” Management Science, 35, 1504-1511.

Mahoney, J. T., and J. R. Pandian (1992). “The resource-based view within the conversation of strategic management.” Strategic Management Journal, 13, pp. 363-380.

Penrose, E. T. (1959). The Theory of the Growth of the Firm. Wiley, New York.

Prahalad, C. K., and G. Hamel (1990). “The Core Competence of the Corporation.” Harvard Business Review, June, pp. 79-91.

Priem, R. L., and J. E. Butler (2001). “Is the resource-based ‘view’ a useful perspective for strategic management research?” Academy of Management Review, in press.

Wernerfelt, B. (1984). “A resource-based view of the firm.” Strategic Management Journal, 5, pp. 171-180.

Originating area

Strategic management, Micro-economics

Level of analysis


IS articles that use the theory

Andreu, R. and C. Ciborra (1996) "Organizational learning and core capabilities development: the role of IT," The Journal of Strategic Information Systems (5) 2, pp. 111-127.

Bharadwaj, A. S. (2000) "A resource-based perspective on information technology capability and firm performance: an empirical investigation," MIS Quarterly (24) 1, pp. 169-196.

Bharadwaj, A. S., V. Sambamurthy, and R. W. Zmud. (1998) “IT capabilities: theoretical perspectives and empirical operationalization.” The International Conference on Information Systems, Helsinki, Finland, 1998, pp. 378-385.

Brush, T. and K. Artz (1999) "Toward a contingent resource-based theory: the impact of information asymmetry on the value of capabilities in veterinary medicine," Strategic Management Journal (20pp. 223-250.

Chan, C.M.L. and Pan, S.L. (2006) "Resource Enactment in the E-Government Systems Implementation: A Case Study On the E-File System", The International Conference on Information Systems 2006, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, December 10-13.

Clemons, E. K. and M. C. Row (1991) "Sustaining IT advantage: the role of structural differences," MIS Quarterly (15) 3, pp. 275-292.

Collis, D. J. (1991) "A resource-based analysis of global competition: the case of the bearings industry," Strategic Management Journal (12pp. 49-68.

Collis, D. J. (1994) "Research note: how valuable are organizational capabilities," Strategic Management Journal (15pp. 143-152.

Collis, D. J. and C. A. Montgomery (1995) "Competing on resources: strategy in the 1990s," Harvard Business Review ) July-August, pp. 118-128.

Feeny, D. F. and B. Ives (1990) "In search of sustainability: reaping long-term advantage from investments in information technology," Journal of Management Information Systems (7) 1, pp. 27-46.

Feeny, D. F. and L. P. Willcocks (1998) "Core IS capabilities for exploiting information technology," Sloan Management Review ) Spring, pp. 9-21.

Gregoire, Y., M. Wade, J. Hulland, and K. Antia. (2001) “Resource redeployment in an ecommerce environment: a resource-based view.” American Marketing Association Conference, Long Beach, CA, 2001.

Halawi,L. A., McCarthy, R. V and Aronson, J. E. (2006). “Knowledge Management and the Competitive Strategy of the Firm”. The Organizational Learning Journal, Volume 13, Issue 4, p.384-397.

Heijden, H. v. d. (2000) “Measuring IT core capabilities for electronic commerce: results from a confirmatory factor analysis.” ICIS, Brisbane, Australia, 2000, pp. 152-163.

Hidding, G. (2001) "Sustaining strategic IT advantage in the information age: how strategy paradigms differ by speed," Strategic Information Systems (10pp. 201-222.

Hulland, J., Wade, M., and Antia, K., “The Impact of Capabilities and Prior Investments on Online Channel Commitment and Performance”, The Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 109-142, 2007.

Jarvenpaa, S. L. and D. E. Leidner (1998) "An infomation company in Mexico: extending the resource-based view of the firm to a developing country context," Information Systems Research (9) 4, pp. 342-361.

Lederer, A., A. M. Dinesh, and K. Sims (1997) "The link between information strategy and electronic commerce," Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce (7) 1, pp. 17-34.

Mata, F. J., W. L. Fuerst, and J. B. Barney (1995) "Information technology and sustained competitive advantage: a resource-based analysis," MIS Quarterly (19) 4, pp. 487-505.

Melville, N, K.L. Kraemer, and V. Gurbaxani, “Information technology and organizational performance: An integrative model of IT business value,” MIS Quarterly 28(2), 2004, 283-322.

Nevo, S. and Wade, M., "An Examination of the Trade-off between Internal and External IT Capabilities", The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Vol 16, No. 1, pp. 5-23, 2007.

Periera, R. E. (1999) "resource view theory analysis of SAP as a source of competitive advantage for firms," The DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems (30) 1, pp. 38-46.

Powell, T. C. and A. Dent-Micallef (1997) "Information technology as competitive advantage: the role of human, business, and technology resources," Strategic Management Journal (18) 5, pp. 375-405.

Ross, J. W., C. M. Beath, and D. L. Goodhue (1996) "Develop long-term competitiveness through IT assets," Sloan Management Review ) Fall, pp. 31-42.

Santhanam, R., and Hartono, E. "Issues in linking information technology capability to firm performance," MIS Quarterly (27:1), March 2003, pp 125-153.

Silverman, B. S. (1999) "Technological resources and the direction of corporate diversification: toward an integration of the resource-based view and transaction cost economics," Management Science (45) 8, pp. 1109-1124.

Wade, M. and Hulland, J., “The Resource-Based View and information Systems Research: Review, Extension, and Suggestions for Future Research,” MIS Quarterly, 28, 1 (March 2004), 107-142

Wade, M. and Gravill, J., “Diversification And Performance Of Japanese IT Subsidiaries: A Resource-Based View”, Information and Management, 40(4), pp. 305-316, 2003.

Wade, M. and Nevo, S., “Validation Of An Instrument To Measure Online Commerce Performance”, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 10(2), pp. 123-148, Winter 2005-6.

Zaheer, A. and K. Dirks (1999) “Research on strategic information technology: a resource-based perspective,” in , vol. 2Research in Strategic Management and Information Technology: JAI Press, pp. 87-121.

Links from this theory to other theories

Dynamic capabilities, Knowledge-based theory of the firm, Resource dependency theory, Competitive strategy (Porter), Evolutionary theory, [Organizational knowledge creation]]

External links, review/summary of the RBV, Paper by John Fahy and Alan Smithee on the RBV and strategic management

Original Contributor(s)

Mike Wade

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