Strategic openness—firms voluntary forfeiting of control over resources—seemingly challenges the premise of the resource-based view (RBV), which posits that firms should control valuable, rare, and inimitable (VRI) resources. We reconcile this apparent paradox by formalizing whether and when firms—consisting of resource bundles and deriving competitive advantage from exploiting selected VRI resources—may maximize profitability by opening parts of their resource base. As such, our article refines RBV-related thinking while supporting the theory's core tenets. Notably, we illustrate how a common-pool resource can become a source of competitive advantage and how firms may use openness to shape inter-firm competition.

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Journal Strategic Management Journal
Alexy, O.T, West, J, Klapper, H.J.D, & Reitzig, M. (2017). Surrendering control to gain advantage. Strategic Management Journal, 39(6), 1704–1727. doi:10.1002/smj.2706