Accounting for performance variation: how important are intagible resources?
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the degree to which intangible resources explain performance variation among firms.Design/methodology/approach The method includes a purpose-designed survey to measure the impact of tangible resources, intangible resources and industry structure on firm performance.Findings The results suggest that, in the main, intangible resources do explain performance variation, even when measured against other potential performance impacting factors.Research limitations/implications The results suggest that capabilities, conceptualized as an intangible resource, might not be the firm's most important, contrary to theory. Further, this study suggests that future research might best be served by exploring relationships between resources and the degree to which resource combinations are important to firm performance.Practical implications Resource allocation is a constant struggle for management. The results of this study suggest that investment in intangible resources might be a means to drive, and possibly sustain, competitive advantage.Originality/value This paper studies intangible resources in conjunction with other potential performance determinants, thus demonstrating a more stringent test of the resource-based view of the firm than previous studies.
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