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JEIT 31,8

A holistic approach to acquisition of strategic resources
´ Jim Andersen
¨ ¨ School of Technology and Society, University of Skovde, Skovde, ¨ Sweden and School of Business, Malardalen University, Eskilstuna, Sweden Abstract
Purpose – The aim of this article is to provide a holistic framework for the acquisition of strategic resources. Design/methodology/approach – The literature dealing with resource creation is reviewed and analyzed from a resource-based point of view. The major methods of acquiring resources are identified through the literature review and the applicability of the framework proposed is illustrated with an empirical example. Findings – Three ways of acquiring strategic resources are identified – direct investments, organizational processes, and product market positioning. All three ways of acquisition can be intentional or unintentional. Arguments for using this six-dimension scale are provided through deductive reasoning, literature review, and the empirical example. Research implications/limitations – The study identifies the six dimensions of strategic resource acquisition. However, integration of these dimensions is not a subject addressed in this study. Cluster analysis of companies according to these dimensions could enhance our understanding of the characteristics of companies regarding resource acquisition. Originality/value – Whereas previous studies have generally used a single-theory approach, this study highlights the importance of having a holistic outlook when analyzing resource-based competitive advantages. Keywords Resources, Strategic management, Competitive advantage, Human resource management Paper type Conceptual paper

Received 16 April 2007 Revised 16 July 2007

Journal of European Industrial Training Vol. 31 No. 8, 2007 pp. 660-677 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0309-0590 DOI 10.1108/03090590710833697

Introduction Since the early 1990s, there has been a shift of emphasis in strategic management research from external factors to internal resources. According to the resource-based view (RBV) (Amit and Schoemaker, 1993; Barney, 1991; Lippman and Rumelt, 1982; Peteraf, 1993; Reed and DeFillippi, 1990; Wernerfelt, 1984), resources constitute the main source of sustainable competitive advantages. The consequence of this assumption is that resources have to be heterogeneously distributed and imperfectly mobile (Barney, 1991). Thus, according to the RBV, different companies have different configurations of resources and these resources cannot easily be transferred between firms. The emergence of the RBV has resulted in increased interest in human resource management and development (HRM and HRD) among strategy scholars (Luoma, 2000; Wright et al., 2001). Since the important contribution by Fombrun et al. (1984) of linking business strategy to human resources, several papers combining the RBV with HRM techniques have been published. Recent studies have mainly addressed issues The study was financed by grants from the Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation, Tore Browaldh Foundation.

´ ´ such as the relationships between performance and HRM (Dee Saa-Perez and ´ Garcia-Falcon, 2002; Joo and McLean, 2006; Lee et al., 2005; McBain, 2004; Roos et al., 2004) or how the two fields of research can benefit from each other (Colbert, 2004; Mayson and Barrett, 2006; Wright et al., 2001). The merging of or attempts to merge, the RBV and HRM have been a contributory factor in the trend toward including HRM activities in the strategic planning process (Karami et al., 2004). Even so, research in the field of RBV has generally been highly descriptive – i.e. describing the circumstances under which strategic resources will result in a competitive advantage. Possession of strategic resources is the core of the RBV; nevertheless, how these resources are acquired has not...
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