This paper summarizes and comments on Conner (1991) that contributes to the strategic management area by providing an historical comparison of resource-based theory and five schools of thought within industrial organization economics. Conner (1991) argues that the fundamental distinction between resource-based theory and transaction costs theory is that resource-based theory focuses on the deployment and combination of specific inputs while transaction costs theory focuses on the avoidance of opportunism. I offer three responses to this claim. First, Conner's distinction was not central to the resource-based literature at the time the article was published. Second, I raise concerns about building a resource-based theory of the firm that assumes away the problems of opportunistic behavior. Third, I offer an alternative view of the fundamental similarities and differences between resource-based theory and transaction costs theory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management