This article suggests that the context and process of resource selection have an important influence on firm heterogeneity and sustainable competitive advantage. It is argued that a firm’s sustainable advantage depends on its ability to manage the institutional context of its resource decisions. A firm’s institutional context includes its internal culture as well as broader influences from the state, society, and interfirm relations that define socially acceptable economic behavior. A process model of firm heterogeneity is proposed that combines the insights of a resource‐based view with the institutional perspective from organization theory. Normative rationality, institutional isolating mechanisms, and institutional sources of firm homogeneity are proposed as determinants of rent potential that complement and extend resource‐based explanations of firm variation and sustainable competitive advantage. The article suggests that both resource capital and institutional capital are indispensable to sustainable competitive advantage. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Strategic Management Journal – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1997
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