Management Papers

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Book Chapter

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From Resource Allocation to Strategy

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It is a pleasure and honor to have the opportunity to comment on this impressive body of work. As a graduate student in the early 1980s, I vividly recall my first reading of the resource allocation process (RAP). Here was a work that tackled one of the principle tasks of a firm: allocating scarce financial capital. The problem had been nominally solved by financial economists, but Bower presented it in a way that both brought forth the richness of the phenomena and provided a clear theoretical framework that illuminated the underlying processes at work. The ultimate test of a piece of scholarship is its ability to influence other scholars. By that standard, as illustrated in this collected volume, the RAP framework is a huge success. Not only has it attracted enormous attention (and citations) from scholars pursuing related topics, but it has generated multiple generations of scholars to build upon and enrich the original framework. As the theoretical structure becomes more elaborated, it may be worthwhile to reflect on the core features of the argument. Doing so, I believe, will help researchers outside the immediate RAP ‘family’ to see the power of the underlying theoretical argument and help embed this literature in the larger literature on organizational decision making and adaptation of which it is a part.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Levinthal, D.A. (2005). Comments on the Resource Allocation Process. In Bower & Gilbert (Eds.), From Resource Allocation to Strategy (pp. 403-408). New York: Oxford University Press, is made available with the permission of Oxford University Press.



Date Posted: 19 February 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.