Management Resources
Pek-Hooi Soh
  • LAST MODIFIED: 25 March 2020
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0191


Management scholars have long argued that firm performance difference can be driven by strategic resources inside a firm. Most resources in organizations are considered as input factors required to perform a firm’s business functions and operations efficiently. There are other resources such as brand capital and organizational knowledge that are produced from the usage of inputs. Resources are said to be strategically important when their use enables the firm to create economic rents, resulting in the firm’s competitive advantage that no current and potential competitors can achieve. Examples of strategic resources are managerial skills, specialized knowledge, and organizational routines such as human resource and supply chain practices. Strategic resources arising from within firms and across partnering firms can also be uniquely accessed, combined, and utilized in order to drive firm performance and growth. Most empirical studies have focused on understanding how firms develop and transform rent-generating resources into a form of firm-specific assets that enable them to exploit new opportunities and achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Research inquiries on strategic resources have also led to the development of several important conceptual perspectives, such as the resource-based view, dynamic capabilities, core competence, and the knowledge-based view. The respective conceptualization of these perspectives has sparked many debates and critiques among the perspectives about the assumptions of resources and associated value and the extent to which different perspectives contribute to the usefulness of explaining persistent firm performance difference and prescribing pragmatic approaches to management.


A large body of research on firm resources in strategic management and other related disciplines has been published as journal articles. Search results in Google Scholar using such keywords as “strategic resources” and “competitive advantage” combined have returned more than sixteen thousand articles published since 1960. Based on resources by organizational functions mentioned in the journal articles, the volume of research papers can be ordered from human resources, financial resources, marketing resources, and managerial resources to R&D resources. Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Marketing, Management Science, Organization Science, Research Policy, and Strategic Management Journal the leading sources of references for reviews, theory development and empirical research on the topic of firm resources deployed in competitive environments.

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