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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Paul J. Knott

The resource-based view and value-rarity-imitability-organisation (VRIO) method have diffused widely into courses aimed at managerial practice, but research has yet to…

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Abstract

Purpose

The resource-based view and value-rarity-imitability-organisation (VRIO) method have diffused widely into courses aimed at managerial practice, but research has yet to verify whether they help managers analyse a firm’s resources. Following recent interest in the use of strategy tools, the purpose of this paper is to focus on what happens when VRIO informs strategy action.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses experimental method to evaluate directly users’ analysis guided by VRIO relative to analysis that is not. Systematic coding of the responses evaluates how users select resources to evaluate, in which areas they make recommendations, and what account they take of competitors, dynamic evolution, and resource disadvantages, risks and limitations.

Findings

VRIO encouraged users to evaluate resources relative to competitors and competitive dynamics, but resource selection difficulties and failure to evaluate resource disadvantages limited its value. In addition, it drew users to the existing operations and business model.

Research limitations/implications

The study highlights a tendency for users to evaluate antecedents and outcomes of resources, and partly supports the view that VRIO elicits inward-looking descriptions. Field-based research is needed to show how using VRIO plays out in full strategy making context.

Practical implications

Highlighted limitations in VRIO analysis could be alleviated by better specifying resource selection and by addressing the positive-only tenor of VRIO materials.

Originality/value

Only a small number of published studies evaluate VRIO as a method of practical strategic analysis, and this paper is the first to look directly at users’ responses.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 53 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2008

Ron Sanchez

Part I of this chapter applies the principles of the philosophy of science and the derived scientific method to analyze the foundational concepts and core proposition of…

Abstract

Part I of this chapter applies the principles of the philosophy of science and the derived scientific method to analyze the foundational concepts and core proposition of the Resource-Base View (RBV) as popularized by Barney (1986, 1991, 1997). This analysis identifies seven fundamental conceptual deficiencies and logic problems in Barney's conceptualization of “strategically valuable resources” and in Barney's VRIO framework for identifying strategically valuable resources that can be sources of sustained competitive advantage. Three problems – the Value Conundrum, the Tautology Problem in the Identification of Resources, and the Absence of a Chain of Causality – relate to the RBV's and VRIO's failure to provide an adequate conceptual basis for identifying strategically valuable resources. The Uniqueness Dilemma, the Cognitive Impossibility Dilemma, and an Asymmetry in Assumptions about Resource Factor Markets result in an inability of the VRIO framework to support identification of resources that can be sources of sustained competitive advantage. More fundamentally, the core proposition of the RBV – that resources that are strategically valuable, rare, inimitable, and organizationally embedded are sources of sustainable competitive advantage – is argued to result directly in the Epistemological Impossibility Problem that precludes use of the scientific method in RBV research. This chapter argues that until these conceptual deficiencies and logic problems are recognized and remedied, the RBV – in spite of its current popularity – is and will remain theoretically sterile and incapable of contributing in any systematic way to the development of strategy theory.

Part II of this chapter then suggests how foundational concepts developed within the competence perspective on strategy provide essential remedies for the identified deficiencies and problems in the RBV – and thereby provide a more conceptually adequate basis for representing the nature of firms in the scientific study of their interactions and competitive outcomes.

Details

A Focused Issue on Fundamental Issues in Competence Theory Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-210-4

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2012

Chinho Lin, Hua‐Ling Tsai, Ya‐Jung Wu and Melody Kiang

The study aims to shed light on how to identify drivers of sustainable competitive advantage under a turbulent and uncertain environment, one of the most crucial…

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14080

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to shed light on how to identify drivers of sustainable competitive advantage under a turbulent and uncertain environment, one of the most crucial challenges faced by resource‐based strategists.

Design/methodology/approach

This study introduces a VRIO‐based framework to evaluate a firm's internal activities, in which the fuzzy set and utilities functions are adopted to identify the competitive advantage of available resources based on resource‐based theory. A case study is conducted to illustrate how the framework can be applied as a tool for exploring the potential competitiveness of a firm's core resources.

Findings

The quantitative VRIO‐based framework is a useful tool to assist top management to identify a list of potential competitive advantages of the available sources.

Originality/value

The VRIO‐based framework is built through the integration of quantitative and qualitative methods, and this innovative approach is proposed to bridge the gap between resource‐based theory and its application.

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2009

Paul Knott

This paper aims to address the limited development of techniques to analyze firms' internal sources of competitive performance. It seeks to enhance the contribution of the…

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3095

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address the limited development of techniques to analyze firms' internal sources of competitive performance. It seeks to enhance the contribution of the widely diffused value‐rarity‐imitability‐organisation (VRIO) model to practical strategy making.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the resource‐based literature to assemble an integrated set of steps that evaluate a firm's resources and competence.

Findings

The paper proposes an expanded version of the VRIO model that represents resource and competence as a conditional outcome from attributes and asymmetries present in the firm. It shows how the conditions convert asymmetries between weaknesses, missed opportunities, rigidities and resources.

Research limitations/implications

By synthesising resource‐based theory in a practice‐relevant form, the paper delineates a concrete set of practices that relate to firms' dynamic capability to manage resources and competence.

Practical implications

The paper details an approach to resource and competence analysis that leads directly to decisions about how a firm can manage the resources in question. The model gives a central role to the conditions under which a firm's attributes give rise to a resource or competence, and hence suggests active management of these conditions.

Originality/value

The paper presents resource‐based theory in a form that focuses on the doing of strategy, in contrast to the traditional focus of this literature.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

Tarek El Shafeey and Paul Trott

The field of research on resource-based competition is full of nuanced terminology and misunderstandings. This has led to confusion, and thus the authors offer a critical…

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4775

Abstract

Purpose

The field of research on resource-based competition is full of nuanced terminology and misunderstandings. This has led to confusion, and thus the authors offer a critical review, which provides a structure and clarity to this subject. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This analysis structures the literature on resources, capabilities, and competences into three distinct schools of thought: the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm, the rational-equilibrium school; the dynamic capability-based view of the firm, the behavioural-evolutionary school; and the competence-based view of the firm, the social constructionist school.

Findings

The authors uncover 13 criticisms of the most widely adopted theoretical framework of the RBV of the firm – Valuable-Rare-Imperfectly imitable-Organisation (VRIO).

Research limitations/implications

The misinterpretation and neglect of the classic scholarly work may help to explain why the VRIO framework has been elevated from a view to a theory and why it has received so much attention.

Practical implications

The authors show how the relative ease of measuring resources as compared to (dynamic) capabilities and (core) competencies has helped raise the profile of RBV.

Originality/value

This analysis contributes to management research by illustrating the deviation among the three schools of thought; the authors show how this has contributed to wide terminological confusion and offer a structure to help researchers situate their work within the relevant school of thought.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2019

Kam Jugdev, Gita Mathur and Tak Fung

The purpose of this paper is to study how project-level performance mediates the effect of project management assets on firm-level performance by examining the direct and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study how project-level performance mediates the effect of project management assets on firm-level performance by examining the direct and mediated relationships between the project management process characteristics: valuable, rare, inimitable and organizationally supported on project-level and firm-level performance outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyzes data from an online survey completed by 198 North American Project Management Institute® members. Linear regression and Sobel Tests are used to examine the relationships between nine factors extracted from an exploratory factor analysis that comprise project management asset characteristics, one factor that comprises project-level performance outcomes, and one factor that comprises firm-level performance outcomes.

Findings

Not only does project-level performance positively and significantly affect firm-level performance, but project-level performance also significantly mediates the effect of project management asset characteristics (for all nine factors) on firm performance.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of this study include sample size and self-report bias, calling for a larger sample in ongoing research.

Practical implications

This study contributes to the stream of literature on project management assets as sources of competitive advantage and makes the case for sustained organizational investments in the project management process.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the limited, but increasing interest in applying the resource-based view of the firm to project management capabilities as a source of competitive advantage.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2013

Torbjørn H. Netland and Arild Aspelund

In order to improve competitiveness on a global scale, multinational enterprises increasingly develop a company-specific production system (XPS) and deploy it in their…

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5922

Abstract

Purpose

In order to improve competitiveness on a global scale, multinational enterprises increasingly develop a company-specific production system (XPS) and deploy it in their worldwide operations. An XPS is synonymous with a tailored corporate-wide improvement programme. The purpose of this paper is to explore the circumstances under which an XPS can provide a competitive advantage.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses an explorative case study methodology to investigate the link between the establishment of an XPS and competitive advantage. Specifically, the paper investigates the part of the Volvo Group's globally implemented Volvo production system (VPS) that aim to improve the manufacturing processes worldwide. Due to its historical trajectories, Volvo constitutes a unique case for studying the trend and effects of XPS. The resource-based view of the firm provides the theoretical foundation for the analysis.

Findings

The paper concludes with four research propositions. P1: In industries with widespread XPS implementation, an XPS is a necessary resource for achieving competitive parity; P2a: Early-starters get an instant temporary competitive advantage; P2b: Late-starters can achieve a temporary competitive advantage if they implement an XPS at a faster speed than competitors; and P3: An XPS can provide a sustainable competitive advantage if it has a superior fit with other path-dependent resources in the organisation.

Research limitations/implications

The paper proposes an updated VRIO model, which is better suited for understanding the relations between an XPS and competitive advantage. The major limitation of the study is the single-case design, which complicates generalisation from the VPS to an XPS of the propositions set forward.

Originality/value

Despite the significant trend in modern operations management, XPSs have received remarkably limited attention from academia except for the Toyota Production System. Presumably, this is the first paper to discuss the recent trend of XPS and its contribution to competitive advantage.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 33 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2020

Luís Farinha, João Lopes, João Renato Sebastião, João José Ferreira, José Oliveira and Paulo Silveira

This paper aims to understand how the different stakeholders assess the adequacy of smart specialization policies defined for their regions.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to understand how the different stakeholders assess the adequacy of smart specialization policies defined for their regions.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper has followed a quantitative methodology through the application of questionnaire surveys to stakeholders of the various territorial regions in Portugal.

Findings

As a result, from the “resource-based view” approach applied to the various regions, the attained results highlight that the suitability of smart specialization policies defined for the Portuguese regions is not unanimous among its stakeholders.

Originality/value

The research can be used as a tool to assist regional policymakers in strategic reflection when defining and adjusting smart specialization strategies in their territories.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal , vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Gita Mathur, Kam Jugdev and Tak Shing Fung

To explore the role of intangible project management assets in achievement of competitive advantage from the project management process through it being valuable, rare…

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7458

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the role of intangible project management assets in achievement of competitive advantage from the project management process through it being valuable, rare, inimitable, and having organizational support.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected on tangible and intangible project management process assets and competitive characteristics of the project management process using an online survey of North American Project Management Institute™ members. Three key tangible asset factors, one intangible asset factor, and three competitive characteristics were identified using exploratory factor analysis. The relationship between these project management assets and project management process characteristics are examined using multivariate analysis.

Findings

Intangible project management assets are found to be a source of competitive advantage, directly and through a mediating role in the relationship between tangible project management assets and the competitive characteristics of the project management process.

Practical implications

This study highlights the importance of developing intangible project management assets, in addition to investment in tangible project management assets, to achieve competitive advantage from the process.

Research limitations/implications

This was an exploratory study. The authors expect to further develop the instrument, refine the model and constructs, and test it with a larger sample.

Originality/value

Few papers have used the Resource Based View lens and applied it to project management. This paper contributes to the literature on the Resource Based View of the firm and to an improved understanding of project management as a source of competitive advantage.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2018

Prodromos Chatzoglou, Dimitrios Chatzoudes, Lazaros Sarigiannidis and Georgios Theriou

This paper aims to attempt to bring together various organisational aspects that have never been collectively investigated before in the strategic management literature…

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7358

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to attempt to bring together various organisational aspects that have never been collectively investigated before in the strategic management literature. Its main objective is to examine the relationship between “strategic orientation” and “firm performance”, in the light of two firm-specific factors (“distinct manufacturing capabilities” and “organisational structure”). The proposed research model of the present study is built upon the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm and the organisational aspect of the VRIO framework (the “O” from the VRIO model).

Design/methodology/approach

The study proposes a newly developed research model that adopts a four-factor approach, while examining a number of direct and indirect effects. The examination of the proposed research model was made with the use of a newly developed structured questionnaire that was distributed on a sample of Greek manufacturing companies. Research hypotheses were tested using the structural equation modelling technique. The present study is explanatory (examines cause and effect relationships), deductive (tests research hypotheses), empirical (collects primary data) and quantitative (analyses quantitative data that were collected using a structured questionnaire).

Findings

The empirical results suggest the coexistence of three distinct categories of effects on “firm performance”: strategy or “utility” effects, depending on the content of the implemented strategy; firm-specific effects, depending on the content of the organisational resources and capabilities; and organisational effects, depending on the implemented organisational structure. More specifically, the statistical analysis underlines the significant mediating role of “strategic orientation” and the complementary role of “organisational structure”. Finally, empirical results support the argument that “strategy follows structure”.

Research limitations/implications

The use of self-reported scales constitutes an inherent methodological limitation. Moreover, the present study lacks a longitudinal approach because it provides a static picture of the subject under consideration. Finally, the sample size of 130 manufacturing companies could raise some concerns. Despite that, previous empirical studies of the same field, published in respectable journals, were also based on similar samples.

Practical implications

When examining the total (direct and indirect) effects on “firm performance”, it seems that the effect of “organisational structure” is, almost, identical to the effect of “distinct manufacturing capabilities”. This implies that “organisational structure” (an imitable capability) has, almost, the same contribution on “firm performance” as the manufacturing capabilities of the organisation (an inimitable capability). Thus, the practical significance of “organisational structure” is being highlighted.

Originality/value

There has been little empirical research concerning the bundle of firm-specific factors that enhance the impact of strategy on business performance. Under the context of the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm, the present study examines the impact of “organisational structure” on the “strategy-capabilities-performance” relationship, something that has not been thoroughly investigated in the strategic management literature. Also, the present study proposes an alternate measure for capturing the concept of business strategy, the so-called factor of “strategic orientation”. Finally, the study adopts a “reversed view” in the relationship between structure and strategy. More specifically, it postulates that “strategy follows structure” and not the opposite (“structure follows strategy”). Actually, the empirical data supported that (reversed) view, challenging the traditional approach of Chandler (1962) and calling for additional research on that ongoing dispute.

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