rbv and diversification(2016-999) - Special Issue Twenty...

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Resource-Based Theory and Corporate Diversification: Accomplishments and Opportunities William P. Wan Texas Tech University Robert E. Hoskisson Rice University Jeremy C. Short Texas Tech University Daphne W. Yiu Chinese University of Hong Kong Corporate diversification, a major strategic management research topic, has been influenced significantly by resource-based theory. In this review, the authors make two main contribu- tions to this literature. First, they discuss the historical development of corporate diversifica- tion research employing the resource-based theory perspective and related concepts, highlighting important insights to date. They then review this literature and discuss its main contributions. Second, the authors identify open issues and suggest opportunities for future contributions and describe ways that research on corporate diversification using the resource-based theory perspective could be further enriched by integration with theoretical insights culled from the organizational economics, new institutional economics, and industrial organization economics literatures. Keywords: resource-based theory; corporate diversification 1335 Corresponding author: William P. Wan, Rawls College of Business Administration, Department of Management, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA Email: [email protected] Journal of Management Vol. 37 No. 5, September 2011 1335-1368 DOI: 10.1177/0149206310391804 © The Author(s) 2011 Reprints and permission: . sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Special Issue: Twenty Years of Resource-Based Theory at PUSAN NATL UNIV on May 25, 2016 jom.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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1336 Journal of Management / September 2011 Since the pioneering work by Wernerfelt (1984) and Barney (1991), the resource-based theory’s (RBT’s) impact on the field of strategic management, as well as many other aca- demic disciplines, has been enormous. The roots of RBT can be traced to a number of intel- lectual origins, including Phillip Selznick in the 1950s and even as early as David Ricardo in the 19th century. Earlier developments notwithstanding, Edith Penrose’s (1959) seminal work The Theory of the Growth of the Firm is widely regarded as providing an important intellectual lineage for RBT (Kor & Mahoney, 2004). In her work, Penrose explored the relationship between firm resources and firm growth. In a departure from neoclassical microeconomics, she noted that firms should be conceptualized as an administrative frame- work consisting of a bundle of resources, and thus, she concluded that the growth of a firm is limited by this crucial aspect of a firm. Penrose’s work not only represents an important research tradition in the subsequent development of RBT but also serves to provide a theo- retical underpinning for the study of firm growth in the form of corporate diversification from the perspective of firm resources and capabilities.
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