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Resource dependency and SME strategy : an empirical study
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Philip BrethertonPhilip Bretherton, I Chaston
Purpose - There has been considerable discussion concerning the resource dependency theory of strategy but relatively little qualitative, empirical research has been conducted on the proposed models. Using the value chain as the conceptual framework, the research aims to show how organisations, in this case small and medium-sized wineries, use their resources and how they access other resources by using strategic alliances. The article also aims to discuss the influence that their resources and capabilities have had on their ability to develop sustainable competitive advantage and superior performance. Design/methodology/approach - This exploratory research looks at four medium-sized New Zealand wineries (between 200,000 and 2 million Htres) and six small ones (under 200,000 litres), of which six have over-performed and four have under-performed the industry. Semi-structured interviews were used to develop an understanding of how the wineries organised their alliances along the value and how they accessed resources which were not available internally. Findings - The wineries have engaged in strategic alliances, rather than structural ties, at various stages of the value chain, to gain access to scarce resources and capabilities. There is clear evidence that the over-performers have had access to adequate resources, which has led to sustainable competitive advantage and superior performance. Research limitations/implications - Only one industry is examined and wider research is necessary, both of a qualitative and quantitative nature. Originality/value - The research provides empirical support for the resource dependency theory and extends the understanding of its significance for small and medium enterprises.