Betting on the underdog : bricolage as an engine of resource advantage

Steffens, Paul R., Baker, Ted, & Senyard, Julienne M. (2010) Betting on the underdog : bricolage as an engine of resource advantage. In Proceedings of Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management 2010, Academy of Management, Montreal, Canada.

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Resource-based theory posits that firms achieve high performance by controlling resources that are rare, valuable and costly for others to duplicate or work around. Yet scholars have been less successful understanding processes and behaviours by which firms develop such resources. We draw on the behavioral theory of bricolage from the entrepreneurship literature to suggest one such mechanism by which firms may develop such resource-based advantages. The core of our argument is that idiosyncratic bundling processes synonymous with bricolage behavior may create advantageous resource positions by (i) allowing resource constrained firms to allocate more of their limited resources to activities that they view as more strategically important, and (ii) increasing the difficulties other firms face in trying to imitate these advantages. Based on this reasoning we develop several hypotheses which we test in the context of several samples from a large, longitudinal, Australian study of new firm development. The results support our arguments that bricolage will improve a firms’ overall resource positions while generating more areas of strong resource advantage and fewer areas of strong resource disadvantage. We find little support, however, for our arguments that bricolage will make a firms’ key resource advantages more difficult for other firms to imitate. We find some support for our argument that the role of bricolage in creating resource advantages will be enhanced by the quality of the opportunity with which a firm is engaged.

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ID Code: 39525
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Resource-Based Theory, Bricolage, Resource Development
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Entrepreneurship (150304)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 18 Jan 2011 22:48
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2016 04:01

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