Political knowledge and the resource-based view of the firm

Authored by: Jean-Philippe Bonardi , Richard G. Vanden Bergh

The Routledge Companion to Non-Market Strategy

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415712316
eBook ISBN: 9781315819389
Adobe ISBN: 9781317819714


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Why does the propensity to engage in the political process vary across firms? Existing research on corporate political strategy emphasizes the role of external or industry-level factors in explaining such differences – the concentration of firms within an industry, the costs of collective action (Olson, 1965; Stigler, 1971; Grier, Munger, and Roberts, 1994), the existence of industry associations (Weymouth, 2010), the degree of public procurement (Masters and Keim, 1985), and the attractiveness of political markets, including the extent of interest group rivalry (Bonardi, Hillman, and Keim, 2005). To explain firm-level variations, however, recent literature has explored the idea that firms acquire or develop specific non-market resources or capabilities, which anchor their political activities (Dahan, 2005; Oliver and Holzinger, 2008; Holburn and Zelner, 2010; Bonardi, 2011).

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