Assessing the RBV’s Explanatory Power

In “Assessing the Effects of Organizational Resources on Public Agency Performance: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Government”, a new paper with Soo-Young Lee of Seoul National University, now forthcoming at the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory:

We assess the usefulness of a theory of organizations, the Resource-Based View (RBV), for the study of public agencies. We examine the differential impacts of an array of organizational resources (administrative, human, financial, physical, political, and reputation resources) on a core measure of federal agency effectiveness. Our analysis shows that certain types of resources have positive impacts on agency effectiveness: administrative (number of members in top governing structure), personnel (the level of professionalization of its employees), financial (spending authority from offsetting collections), and political (presidential attention and the agency’s public reputation), although certain other resources have negative impacts. Our study shows that strategic knowledge about resources can enhance our understanding of agency performance.

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