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Resources, capabilities, competences and the theory of the firm

Sandro Montresor (Department of Economics, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



The aim of the paper is to point out some investigation lines which might result useful in building‐up a theory of the firm based on its resources, capabilities and competences (RCC). While the focus on RCC has helped to address some limitations of the standard contractual paradigm, a positive RCC theory of the firm hesitates to take‐off as its operationalization is still at an early stage. In order to move further towards this task, the paper suggests to: distinguish the nature of the problems of the contractual perspective which an alternative theory should solve (Section 2); identify those RCC features which are essential in connecting them to the core issues of the theory of the firm, that is, existence, boundaries and organization (Section 3); evaluate the implications of any hybridisation attempt between the two firm perspectives (Section 4). The paper then moves some exploratory steps along these research directions, providing some arguments about the opportunity to pursue them further.



Montresor, S. (2004), "Resources, capabilities, competences and the theory of the firm", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 409-434.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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