Raising rivals' costs through political strategy: An extension of resource-based theory

Abagail McWilliams, David D. Van Fleet, Kenneth D. Cory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


In this paper, we extend the resource-based theory of the firm to show that it can be used to analyse the effectiveness of competitive strategies. Specifically, we demonstrate that political strategies aimed at raising rivals' costs by blocking the use of substitute resources may create the opportunity for a firm to capitalize on resources that are valuable, rare, and costly to imitate. The uses of political activity to block the availability of substitute resources are discussed in detail and examples are provided to demonstrate how such strategies are used and to illustrate how successful they may be. This is an important extension of the resource-based theory because it demonstrates how the theory can be applied by researchers and practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-724
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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