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"A Resource-Based Theory of Sustainable Rents"

Joseph T. Mahoney


First Author :

Joseph T. Mahoney
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1206 S. Sixth Street, M/C 706
Champaign, IL 61820

Abstract :
This paper summarizes and comments on Conner (1991) which contributes to the strategic management area by providing an historical comparison of resource-based theory and five schools of thought within industrial organization economics. Conner (1991) argues that the fundamental distinction between resource-based theory and transaction costs theory is that resource-based theory focuses on the deployment and combination of specific inputs while transactions costs theory focuses on the avoidance of opportunism. I offer three responses to this claim. First, Connerís distinction was not central to the resource-based literature at the time the article was published. Second, I raise concerns about building a resource-based theory of the firm that assumes away the problems of opportunistic behavior. Third, I offer an alternative view of the fundamental similarities and differences between resource-based theory and transaction costs theory.
Manuscript Received : 2001
Manuscript Published : 2001
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