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Are there always synergies between productive resources and resource deployment capabilities?


  • Marco D. Huesch

    Corresponding author
    1. USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
    2. Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A.
    • Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
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Correspondence to: Marco D. Huesch, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, University Gateway: Unit A, 3335 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90089–7273, U.S.A. E-mail:


While the independent impacts of particular firm resources and deployment capabilities on firm performance are unambiguous cornerstones of the strategy field, it is commonly assumed that their joint impacts are synergistic. This article seeks to understand whether this common misconception of resource-based theory can be refuted empirically. Using data from hospitals conducting specialist surgery, I find hospital performance improves independently through better surgical resource quality and from more use of a streamlined form of resource management in which overall patient team leadership and operating team leadership are held by the same physician. Generally the interaction of these two firm activities had no impact on performance. These results contribute to the strategy field's understanding of whether and when internal fit affects performance, clarifying an incorrect inference commonly made about resource-based theory. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.