Much theory and research that apparently seeks to explain why firms differ actually addresses the question of why successful firms differ. This article explains why the two questions are different and explores some of the implications of this difference for the field of strategic management. A wide variety of organizational and economic theories are reviewed in this context, including contingency theory, resource dependence theory, process models, dispositional models, transaction cost economics, organizational ecology and institutional theory. Further discussion considers why heterogeneity persists at the firm level when it becomes apparent that only certain types of firms will succeed.
Strategic Management Journal – Wiley
Published: May 1, 1993
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