Accounting for competitive advantage: the resource-based view of the firm and the labour theory of value

Cliff Bowman, Steve Toms

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The paper uses accounting concepts to assist the field of strategic management in its search for a theory of value, competitive advantage and superior profitability.
Specifically, it argues that the resource-based view of the firm requires a labour
theory of value creation. Using the Circuit of Capital as an organizing framework the
paper integrates RBV and Marx's value theory, by introducing the notion of value as
socially necessary labour time, into the analysis of resource based advantage. This
enables us to identify the impact of particular sources of competitive advantage as
they become diffused through an industry. Some resource based advantages, when
eventually imitated lead to an overall reduction in industry profitability, and other
advantages lead to increases in industry average profitability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-194
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

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