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Networks, capabilities, and competitive advantage

By Nicolai J. Foss


This conceptual paper joins network theories of firm interaction with the recent resource-based perspective in strategic management. This suggests a more satisfactory underpinning for the analysis of competitive advantage within the network approach. In other words, application of the resource-based approach suggests one way to uncover the sources of competitive advantage of the network firm. The paper also makes the related point that network theorists stand to benefit from the Marshallian tradition in industrial economics, a point that has sometimes been made by network theorists, but has never or seldom been elaborated.

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