This study investigates the influence of social structures on the meaning and value of resources. Although understanding resources from a sociological perspective is equally important for the competitive advantage of organizations, prior studies on what a resource is and how a resource becomes valuable have been conducted within an economic perspective. This study examines the meaning and value of resources within a social structure in order to extend the boundary conditions of existing research on resources. Based on a two-step content analysis of the meaning and value of resources in Chinese universities, this study identifies three types of social-oriented resources (resources that help organizations achieve social goals). These contrast with economic-oriented resources (resources that help organizations achieve economic goals) in markets. We also find three strategies that create the value of social-oriented resources. The findings regarding the meaning and value of social-oriented resources uncover the sociality of resources that complement the economic perspective and highlight the importance of understanding organizational competitive advantage from a sociological perspective.
Asia Pacific Journal of Management – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 4, 2016
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