What Do Resource and Capability-Based Theories Propose?

Michael J. Leiblein, Ohio State University, published “What Do Resource- and Capability-Based Theories Propose?” in the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Management as a guest editorial. It was the most-frequently read article of July 2011 for the Journal of Management, based on calculations from Highwire-hosted articles. Most-read rankings are recalculated at the beginning of the month and are based on full-text and pdf views. Mr. Leiblein kindly provided the following thoughts on his editorial.

“While resource- and capability-based theories have garnered  a great deal of attention in management research, my experience as a referee and journal editor suggested that confusion remained regarding the core predictions offered by these perspectives.  The intent of this editorial was to engage the broad audience of Journal of Management readers in a discussion regarding the primary assumptions, insights, and logic put forth by resource- and capability-based theories.”

“In writing the editorial, my hope was to influence future research by fostering greater precision in discussions of the central constructs and the development of unambiguous, measurable, and refutable propositions that support more careful tests of these theories.  I also hope the paper aids practice by helping managers to think more deeply about the implications of resource- and capability-based research.  While the importance of competitive heterogeneity to the pursuit of economic growth and competitive advantage  has led strategy scholars to devote a great deal of attention to understanding how resources, resource allocation policies, and organizational decisions affect business firm’s ability to create and capture value, these insights are often misunderstood and frequently over-simplified in practice.”

“I enjoyed writing this editorial as it provided me an opportunity to review and publish some ideas that I have thought about for a number of years.  While my prior research regarding how firms organize to create advantage in complex and dynamic environments considers these perspectives, my prior work has not emphasized these theories.  This editorial allowed me to focus more tightly on the insights provided by these literatures and to suggest how future research may further contribute to this line of thought.”

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