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Resource transformation in the reconstitution of broken interorganizational relationships

León Poblete (Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden) (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

Journal of Strategy and Management

ISSN: 1755-425X

Article publication date: 25 November 2020

Issue publication date: 3 May 2021




Adopting aspects of the resource-based perspective and interorganizational relational dynamics, this paper examines the notion of resource transformation in the reconstitution of broken interorganizational relationships.


Following a qualitative approach, the research involved four in-depth case studies of buyer–supplier relationships among 12 Scandinavian manufacturing firms.


The results suggest that reconstituting broken interorganizational relationships, whether overlooked or underutilized, can pose important consequences for resource transformations. To adapt in dynamic environments, firms use resources in new combinations, and various relationship-specific resources may be difficult, if not impossible, to transform independent of the reconstitution process. Such resource transformations can occur when competencies in reconstituting interorganizational relationships are combined to synthesize novel resources or recombined with other resources. Four identified types of resource transformations in reconstitution processes – in production facilities, products, human know-how and coordination of interorganizational collaboration – can occur in each firm and/or in the interorganizational relationship.

Research limitations/implications

Although the explorative multiple-case study approach afforded novel insights, the findings have no representative or generalizable implications in any positivist sense and thus warrant careful interpretation. Nevertheless, they make important contributions to the literature and illuminate promising avenues for future research, which should involve additional data collection and quantitative studies.

Practical implications

As firms reconstitute broken interorganizational relationships, the transformation of their resources can provide new, expected resources capable of generating substantial benefits.


This paper fills an identified gap in research regarding how reconstituting broken interorganizational relationships influence the transformation of resources. The paper provides new conceptual and empirical insights as well as makes several contributions to the literature on the topic.



Funding: The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.In developing this research, the author have benefited from discussions with Professor Virpi Havila and Professor Anna Bengtson. The author also gratefully acknowledges helpful comments and suggestions from the two anonymous reviewers and the editor.Declaration of conflicting interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest concerning the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.


Poblete, L. (2021), "Resource transformation in the reconstitution of broken interorganizational relationships", Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 207-226.



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