From strategy based on external factors to internal competencies and human resources

In 1991, Jay B. Barney authored a diary entitled “ Firm resources and sustained competitory advantage. ” The literature ‘s chief statement is that sustained competitory advantage can be obtained if the house efficaciously and expeditiously use its resources and capablenesss that are valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitutable ( Barney 1991 ) . This position of strategic analysis was regarded as the “ resource-based position ” ( RBV ) and different from what has been the customary external environment analysis which was exemplified in Porter ‘s five forces of competition ( Porter 1979 ) . Therefore, focal point was given to the strengths and failings of a house every bit much as the chances and menaces of the external environment as the beginning of competitory advantage and foundation for making schemes ( Grant 2008 ) . The RBV has been considered by many writers as lending to the wider Fieldss of survey about resources and sustained competitory advantage ( CITE ) including human resources direction. Hence, the focal point of this literature is on the above mentioned work of Jay Barney and its part in the field of Human Resource Management ( HRM ) and the relationship of Strategic Human Resources Management ( SHRM ) with sustained competitory advantage. The essay will be presented consequently in three parts. First is a treatment of the theories presented in Barney ‘s work as respects RBV. Second are the branchings of the RBV theory to the construct of HRM and SHRM. And last is a contemplation on the restrictions or reviews regrading RVB and the things to come for the survey of SHRM.


At the oncoming, literatures sing scheme and sustained competitory advantage were focused largely on the external analyses of chances and menaces in the environment of the industry for some clip ( Barney 1991 ) . Porter ‘s ‘five forces of competition ‘ exemplifies this focal point of a house ‘s place in relation to its external environment. Consequently, schemes and beginnings of competitory advantage were made based on the analysis of the house ‘s competition within its industry, the menaces of new entrants, the menace of replacement merchandises, the bargaining power of providers and purchasers ( Porter 1979 ) . However, Peteraf ( 1993, p. 186 ) acknowledges that competitory advantage is non the merchandise of changing industry attraction entirely and that the RVB is a factor that contributed to such an apprehension. Competitive advantage as described by Pralahad and Hamel ( 1990 ) is the merchandise or consequence of several old ages of edifice nucleus competences that are superior to its challengers, and using these competences more efficaciously than its rivals and that the length of clip to construct nucleus competences and obtain competitory advantage is besides comparative to the capacity of houses to larn and use larning more efficaciously. The foregoing account of CA therefore foresees that resources intrinsic to a house or steadfast resources are beginnings of SCA.

With Barney ‘s work, accent was given to a changing position towards scheme in which sustained competitory advantage is accomplishable if the house takes advantage of resources that are valuable, rare, inimitable, and non-substitutable ( Barney 1991 ) . Harmonizing to Barney ( 1995, p. 50 ) , resources of a steadfast include all the “ fiscal, physical, human, and organisational assets used by a house… [ and ] human resources include all the experience, cognition, opinion, hazard taking leaning, and wisdom of persons associated with the house ” . Grant ( 2008, p. 131 ) further classifies resources into three: 1 ) touchable resources – these are the fiscal and physical assets of a house ; 2 ) intangible resources – which are the engineering, repute and civilization possessed by the administration ; and 3 ) human resources – which encompass the accomplishments, cognition, capacity for communicating and coaction, and the motive that exists within the house. All of these resources with the aforesaid features, when utilised efficaciously and expeditiously through a house ‘s administration, systems and cognition can be a beginning of sustained competitory advantage ( Barney, Wright, & A ; Ketchen 1991 ) . Based on the rationalizations mentioned, human resources are similarly possible beginnings of sustained competitory advantage.


In his work, Barney accordingly recognizes the importance of the RBV theory in the field of HRM, and that human resources can be valuable, rare, inimitable, and non-substitutable, and hence become beginnings of sustained competitory advantage. Aside from specific human resources, policies and patterns in HRM are valuable and inimitable since these resources can non be easy replicated and requires a significant period of clip to acquire established ( Barney 1991 ; Boxall 1996 ) . Another feature of human resources is that of being rare or alone separately and as a group, for which Grant ( 2008 ) stresses that the key to competitory advantage is to work the houses ‘ alone resources, since schemes strictly based on industry choice and positioning consequences in similar schemes among houses in an industry. These features which epitomize RBV theory in Barney ‘s work has been instrumental in supplying the appropriate attending deserved by human resources in strategic planning, which leads to the impression of Strategic HRM ( Wright, Dunford and Snell 2001 ) . Further account provided by Pynes ( 2009, p. 31 ) is that SHRM is based on the premise that in a dynamic environment, organisations need to be dynamic as good, this necessitates the demand to get “ realistic information on the capablenesss and endowments of their current staff-in kernel, their human resources. ”

However, while RBV theorizes that competitory advantage can be sourced from the house ‘s human resources, it is non entirely the foundation from which profitableness can be obtained in every bit much as a house ‘s place in an industry can non besides be the exclusive beginning of competitory advantage. Competitive advantage and sustained competitory advantage can be attained by uniting the customary external analysis, industry placement and attraction with that of the analysis of the organisation ‘s internal resources ( Collis & A ; Montgomery 1995 ) . Through SHRM in peculiar, organisations can be better equipped to be after their human resource demands in agreement with the current demands within the organisations every bit good as with the present state of affairs in the external environment ( Pynes 2009 ) . In kernel, Barney ‘s work has become a foundation from which HRM and SHRM gained prominence in the survey of scheme and sustained competitory advantage. ( Wright, Dunford, and Snell 2001 )


Priem and Butler ( 2001 ) , provides a good acknowledge review of the RBV literature offered by Barney about the RBV a theory. The review is summarised in four countries wherein Barney offered counter statements for each. Barney categorises Priem and Butler ‘s ( 2001 ) appraisals as: 1 ) the RBV theory is pleonastic ; 2 ) failure to acknowledge that the composing of resources nevertheless diverse can bring forth similar value for a house, and as such, can non be a beginning of competitory advantage ; 3 ) the 1991 article failed to give accent to the function of “ merchandise markets ” ; and 4 ) the theories derived has “ limited normative deductions ” . ( Barney 2001, p. 41 )

These reviews, restrictions, and appraisals associating to assorted RBV literature, and in Barney ‘s work in peculiar, has led to the increasing popularity of constructs such as “ cognition direction, larning administrations, flexible work force and teamwork ” ( Hartel, Fujimoto, Strybosch, & A ; Fitzpatrick, 2007, p. 14 ) Therefore, giving basis from which further and more intricate survey has evolved.


To sum up, the foregoing treatments presented Barney ‘s 1991 work underscoring on resources that are rare, valuable, inimitable, and non-substitutable as foundations of sustained competitory advantage. More significantly, it has provided a background from which due importance was given to the human resources of a house in scheme preparation and contributed vastly to the impression of strategic HRM. Wright, Dunford, and Snell ( 2001 ) considers Barney ‘s propositions on the beginnings of sustained competitory advantage as an influential in doing or determining the RBV premiss important in the context of scheme and in SHRM every bit good. For the hereafter of RBV and SHRM, the article ‘s reviews and restrictions have instigated further survey of the RBV theory and similarly opened new skylines for research in the field of HR and SHRM. Thus it is equal and appropriate to state that the RBV theory which was emphasized in Barney ‘s work contributed in the displacement from “ scheme based on external factors ” and brought to see the “ internal competences and human resources ” of a house in explicating schemes ( Hartel, Fujimoto, Strybosch, & A ; Fitzpatrick, 2007, p. 14 ) . There is a great deepness of field for survey and research in HRM and SHRM for which the RBV theory is relevant and a critical resource, future researches is decidedly and will be really of import to farther appreciate and understand the relevancy and kernel of human resources in an organisation.

Annex A: Drumhead and Assessment of reviews to the Resource-Based View ( RVB ) ( Kraaijenbrink, Spender, and Aard 2010, p. 360 )



1 ) The RBV has no managerial deductions.

Not all theories should hold managerial deductions. Through its broad airing, the RVB has apparent impact.

2 ) The RBV implies infinite reasoning backward.

Applies merely to abstract mathematical theories. In an applied theory such as the RBV, degrees are qualitatively different.

3 ) The RVB ‘s pertinence is excessively limited.

Generalizing about singularity is non impossible by definition. The RBV applies to little houses and start-ups every bit good, every bit long as they strive for an SCA. Path dependence is non debatable when non taken to the extreme. The RBV applies merely to houses in predictable environments.

4 ) SCA is non accomplishable

By including dynamic capablenesss, the RBV is non strictly inactive, though it merely explains antique station, non antique ante, beginnings of SCA. Although no CA can last everlastingly, a focal point on SCA remains utile.

5 ) The RBV is non a theory of the house.

The RBV does non sufficiently explicate why houses exist. Rather than necessitating it to make so, it should farther develop as a theory of SCA and leave extra accounts of house being to TCE.

6 ) VRIN/O is neither necessary nor sufficient for SCA.

The VRIN/O standards are non ever necessary and non ever sufficient to explicate a house ‘s SCA. The RBV does non sufficiently see the synergism within resource packages as a beginning of SCA. The RBV does non sufficiently acknowledge the function that judgement and mental theoretical accounts of persons play in value appraisal and creative activity.

7 ) The value of a resource is excessively undetermined to supply for utile theory.

The current conceptualisation of value turns the RBV into a fiddling heuristic, an uncomplete theory, or a tautology. A more subjective and originative impression of value is needed.

8 ) The definition of resource is impracticable.

Definitions of resources are all inclusive. The RBV does non acknowledge differences between resources as inputs and resources that enable the organisation of such inputs. There is no acknowledgment of how different types of resources may lend to SCA in a different mode.

Last, Kraaijenbrink, Spender, and Aard ( 2010 ) have summed up the reviews as respects the RVB and offered rating and counterarguments to each ( see Annex A ) . Among the eight reviews cited, three of which were acknowledged as “ non easy dismissible ” as the other five. The three appraisals were concerned about the nature of “ resource ” and “ value ” as being “ indeterminate ” and the “ narrow account of a house ‘s SCA. ” Another failing in the RBV theory was the prominence of the attending given to single resources compared to the importance of the conglobation of single resources and, which harmonizing to Kraaijenbrink, Spender, and Aard, does non reflect the existent significance of competitory advantage. ( 2010, p. 359 )