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The evolution of resource‐advantage theory: Six events, six realizations, six contributions

Shelby D. Hunt (Department of Marketing, Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 27 January 2012




The purpose of this paper is to provide a personal retrospective on six of the key events/experiences that influenced the development of the structure, foundational premises, and models of the resource‐advantage theory of competition.


The paper uses a personal retrospective approach.


The paper finds that six key events influenced the development of resource‐advantage theory: B.J. “Bud” LaLonde emphasizes the works of Alderson; Rob Morgan suggests an article on the resource‐based theory of the firm; Roy Howell suggests a presentation on R‐A theory; Randy Sparks shows a “socialist calculation” article; Kim Boal suggests the Journal of Management Inquiry as a publication outlet; and Bob Phillips discusses his work on “firm effects vs industry effects”. The paper then relates each of the six events to the paths, routes, or procedures that are often proposed as (or reported to be) likely to lead to the development of theories.


By providing the evolutionary history of resource‐advantage theory, the paper provides implications for developing marketing theories.



Hunt, S.D. (2012), "The evolution of resource‐advantage theory: Six events, six realizations, six contributions", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 7-29.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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