The evolution of resource-advantage theory: Six events, six realizations, six contributions

Ben Wooliscroft, Shelby D. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is to provide a personal retrospective on six of the key events/experiences that influenced the development of the structure, foundational premises, and models of the resource-advantage theory of competition. The paper uses a personal retrospective approach. The paper finds that six key events influenced the development of resource-advantage theory: B.J. “Bud” LaLonde emphasizes the works of Alderson; Rob Morgan suggests an article on the resource-based theory of the firm; Roy Howell suggests a presentation on R-A theory; Randy Sparks shows a “socialist calculation” article; Kim Boal suggests the Journal of Management Inquiry as a publication outlet; and Bob Phillips discusses his work on “firm effects vs industry effects”. The paper then relates each of the six events to the paths, routes, or procedures that are often proposed as (or reported to be) likely to lead to the development of theories. By providing the evolutionary history of resource-advantage theory, the paper provides implications for developing marketing theories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-29
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Historical Research in Marketing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 27 2012


  • Context of discovery
  • History of marketing thought
  • Marketing philosophy
  • Marketing theory
  • Resource-advantage theory
  • Theory development


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