Strategic assets and organizational rent



We build on an emerging strategy literature that views the firm as a bundle of resources and capabilities, and examine conditions that contribute to the realization of sustainable economic rents. Because of (1) resource-market imperfections and (2) discretionary managerial decisions about resource development and deployment, we expect firms to differ (in and out of equilibrium) in the resources and capabilities they control. This asymmetry in turn can be a source of sustainable economic rent. The paper focuses on the linkages between the industry analysis framework, the resource-based view of the firm, behavioral decision biases and organizational implementation issues. It connects the concept of Strategic Industry Factors at the market level with the notion of Strategic Assets at the firm level. Organizational rent is shown to stem from imperfect and discretionary decisions to develop and deploy selected resources and capabilities, made by boundedly rational managers facing high uncertainty, complexity, and intrafirm conflict.