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A Resource-Based View of the Firm

In 1984, former faculty member Birger Wernerfelt introduced a paradigm shift in business strategy with his paper "A Resource-Based View of the Firm." Prior to this transformative work, the discourse on business strategy was predominantly centered around external market factors and competitive forces. 

Wernerfelt challenged this conventional wisdom by presenting the argument that a firm's internal resources, ranging from tangible assets like machinery to intangible assets like reputation, could be the key to creating a competitive advantage. This theory, known as the Resource-Based View, asserts that for resources to offer a firm sustained competitive advantage, they must be valuable, rare, and difficult to substitute or imitate. 

The RBV has had profound implications and has changed how firms undertake strategic planning by emphasizing the importance of leveraging internal assets for competitive advantage. Wernerfelt's paper has been cited in thousands of academic publications and is now a staple in business school curricula worldwide.