The Resource-Based Perspective: An Assessment and Diagnosis of Problems
DRUID Working Paper No. 97-1
38 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 1997
Date Written: January 1997
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.
JEL Classification: D21, D81, D23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation