The article under consideration deals with the peculiarities of the resource-based view (RBV) of a company in terms of international business (IB) research. The author explores the extent to which this theoretical framework has become common in international business and explains the reasons for this trend (Peng 803). Furthermore, the article includes a detailed review of studies concerning multinational management, emerging markets, alliances and mergers, and entrepreneurship. Finally, the author provides an overview of the possible implications of this trend in the marketplace.
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It is noted that works by Barney (published in 1991) and Wernerfelt (published in 1984) are regarded as “key developments” in IB research and the RBV of a company (Peng 803). To estimate the extent to which RBV penetrated IB research, the author focused on the reference to certain works of these researchers. The author studied peer-reviewed management and business journals published between 1991 and 2000. Peng reviewed 61 journals and found 526 citations to the sources mentioned above. Importantly, the author states that the growth of interest about an RBV is evident, as the number of citations steadily increased during the period in question.
The author stresses that the RBV can be regarded as an innovation, as it is characterized by five features of the innovation. For instance, the approach is associated with a focus on a company rather than an industry, which is an innovative view and regarded as a considerable competitive advantage. It is also easy to use and adapt. Importantly, it is consistent with the values and needs of modern business research (Peng 807). For example, IB research concentrated on macro-level trade, such as industries, up to the 1970s, but the focus changed in the early 1970s.
The researcher is focusing on four dimensions when analyzing the use of RBV in IB research. These areas are market entries, international entrepreneurship, MNC management, and strategic alliances (Peng 809). When it comes to MNC management, IB research emphasizes that multinationals should develop a company-specific advantage to remain competitive in different markets, and the RBV provides the necessary framework to develop this kind of advantage. Besides, the RBV provides a wide range of tools to address such areas covered within the scope of IB research as diversification, human resources, and development of subsidiary capability. As far as other dimensions are concerned, the RBV extends the boundaries of IB research concerning strategic alliances, as it focuses on one of the areas that have recently attracted a lot of attention. Organizational learning has become the point where RBV has penetrated IB management (Peng 812). The dimension of market entries is another area where the RBV has provided new opportunities for IB researchers.
It is noted that market entries used to be seen as a “transaction,” but the RBV provides a framework to analyze a company, rather than the transaction process (qtd. in Peng 813). Besides, the RBV concentrates on actual channels used for entries, rather than strategic aspects of such entries. Finally, it is possible to note that the RBV is the most appropriate framework for the analysis of international entrepreneurship since IB research tends to take into account mainly large multinationals. However, smaller companies are now able to internationalize quite quickly and easily, so the RBV of a firm, with its analysis of the tacit knowledge and its role in the development of the competitive advantage, is essential. Researchers started paying more attention to emerging markets in the 1990s, and the use of the RBV became an important contribution to the field of IB research. The framework provided researchers with company-level tools and measures that could be used to examine strategies used by multinationals, state-owned enterprises, conglomerates, and privatized companies, as well as start-ups (Peng 816).
As has been mentioned above, the author provides a brief analysis of the way the RBV of a company has contributed to the field of IB research. First, this approach provided “a powerful theoretical perspective” on a variety of areas that IB research concentrates on (Peng 819). This theoretical framework has proved to be specifically valuable in research concerning multinationals and entrepreneurial activities. Interestingly, the author also notes that IB research also contributed to the development of the RBV as it unveiled the importance of international knowledge, which has become vital for the development of competitive advantage.
The researcher also claims that the future of the RBV should be associated with further research concerning resources. Peng also adds that there should be a more significant integration between the study of first-movers’ advantages and disadvantages and the RBV. Further integration with the institutional theory is also important for the development of the RBV. Finally, RBV research should pay more attention to such important aspects as processes and implementation.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that the article provides valuable insights into the peculiarities of the RBV. It also unveils the way the framework extends IB research and the way it can be further developed. The RBV is more widely used, as it allows researchers to address existing issues more effectively.
Peng, Mike W. “The Resource-Based View and International Business.” Journal of Management 27.1 (2001): 803-829. Print.