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Complex interplay of R&D, advertising and exports in USA manufacturing firms: differential effects of capabilities

He-Boong Kwon (Colorado State University – Pueblo, Pueblo, Colorado, USA)
Jooh Lee (Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey, USA)
Ian Brennan (Colorado State University – Pueblo, Pueblo, Colorado, USA)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 10 January 2024




This study aims to explore the dynamic interplay of key resources (i.e. research and development (R&D), advertising and exports) in affecting the performance of USA manufacturing firms. Specifically, the authors examine the dynamic impact of joint resources and predict differential effect scales contingent on firm capabilities.


This study presents a combined multiple regression analysis (MRA)-multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network modeling and investigates the complex interlinkage of capabilities, resources and performance. As an innovative approach, the MRA-MLP model investigates the effect of capabilities under the combinatory deployment of joint resources.


This study finds that the impact of joint resources and synergistic rents is not uniform but rather distinctive according to the combinatory conditions and that the pattern is further shaped by firm capabilities. Accordingly, besides signifying the contingent aspect of capabilities across a range of resource combinations, the result also shows that managerial sophistication in adaptive resource control is more than a managerial ethos.

Practical implications

The proposed analytic process provides scientific decision support tools with control mechanisms with respect to deploying multiple resources and setting actionable goals, thereby presenting pragmatic benchmarking options to industry managers.


Using the theoretical underpinnings of the resource-based view (RBV) and resource orchestration, this study advances knowledge about the complex interaction of key resources by presenting a salient analytic process. The empirical design, which portrays holistic interaction patterns, adds to the uniqueness of this study of the complex interlinkages between capabilities, resources and shareholder value.



Kwon, H.-B., Lee, J. and Brennan, I. (2024), "Complex interplay of R&D, advertising and exports in USA manufacturing firms: differential effects of capabilities", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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