During the last 20 years, resource-based theory has become one of the most important theoretical perspectives in the field of strategic management. Often criticized for not being subject to empirical research, the results of numerous empirical tests have yet to be compiled and compared.
Katja Nothnagel evaluates this growing body of empirical research in resource-based theory. She starts out by deriving six central propositions and then examines how these propositions have been tested empirically. Over 190 empirical resource-based papers are identified. The results of this work are evaluated through a narrative review, vote counting as well as the use of a meta-analysis. The results suggest that substantial progress has been made within the empirical part of RBT: (a) various operationalization examples on the propositions’ central constructs prove that testing RBT propositions is possible; (b) vote counting results indicate an overall positive significant impact of resources on performance with negligible results in the opposite direction of the theory; and (c) meta-analysis results show significant positive relationships. The author concludes, however, that more research is needed regarding the factor market conditions and the operationalization of resource conditions.