The networked firm: a framework for RBV

Nick Wills‐Johnson (Planning and Transport Research Centre (PATREC), Curtin University, Perth, Australia)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Publication date: 8 February 2008



This paper aims to examine a potential approach to introduce a topology to the resource‐based view (RBV) of the firm to address the issue of the formation of intangible assets and predictions of the growth of the firm by RBV, both issues that have been identified in the literature as shortcomings of the RBV approach.


The paper is a conceptual paper. It provides a brief review of and introduces concepts from the social networks literature, suggesting ways in which viewing the firm as a connected network of resources might usefully augment RBV theory.


Viewing the firm as a network is a potentially powerful tool for analysing the notion of intangible assets in the RBV and for providing a theory of the growth of the firm.


The paper provides a useful framework for further work in the RBV field to assist in understanding what makes assets strategic and how firms grow through the accumulation of strategic assets, and highlights possibilities for cross‐fertilisation between the social networks and RBV literature.



Wills‐Johnson, N. (2008), "The networked firm: a framework for RBV", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 214-224.

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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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