Academy of Management Review2014-11-09 11:50 AM

The Relational View: Cooperative Strategy and Sources of Interorganizational Competitive Advantage 

Abstract

In this article we offer a view that suggests that a firm's critical resources may span firm boundaries and may be embedded in interfirm resources and routines. We argue that an increasingly important unit of analysis for understanding competitive advantage is the relationship between firms and identify four potential sources of interorganizational competitive advantage: (1) relation-specific assets, (2) knowledge-sharing routines, (3) complementary resources/capabilities, and (4) effective governance. We examine each of these potential sources of rent in detail, identifying key subprocesses, and also discuss the isolating mechanisms that serve to preserve relational rents. Finally, we discuss how the relational view may offer normative prescriptions for firm-level strategies that contradict the prescriptions offered by those with a resource-based view or industry structure view.


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Academy of Management Review

The Academy of Management Review (AMR) is ranked among the top five most influential and frequently cited management and business journals. AMR is a theory development journal that publishes the highest quality conceptual work. Impact Factor: 7.817.

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