Resource-Based View (RBV)

The Resource-Based View (RBV) is a strategic management framework that emphasizes leveraging internal resources and capabilities as sources of competitive advantage. This model guides small businesses in identifying and developing their unique strengths, which can enable them to differentiate themselves from competitors and achieve sustainable success in the marketplace. By focusing on building and leveraging valuable, rare, and inimitable resources, small businesses can create a solid foundation for long-term competitive advantage.


  1. Internal Resources and Capabilities: The RBV posits that competitive advantage stems from the possession of valuable, rare, and inimitable resources and capabilities. Resources can include tangible assets (such as physical infrastructure and financial capital), intangible assets (such as brand reputation and intellectual property), and human capital (such as knowledge, skills, and expertise). Capabilities refer to the organization’s ability to deploy and leverage these resources effectively to create value for customers and stakeholders.
  2. Distinctive Competencies: Small businesses must identify their distinctive competencies—those resources and capabilities that set them apart from competitors and enable them to deliver superior value to customers. This may involve conducting a thorough internal audit to assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis) and identifying core competencies that align with the organization’s strategic objectives and competitive positioning.
  3. Value Creation and Capture: The RBV emphasizes the importance of creating and capturing value through the strategic deployment of resources and capabilities. Small businesses should focus on developing products, services, and solutions that leverage their unique strengths and address unmet customer needs or pain points. By delivering superior value to customers, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention, thereby increasing market share and profitability.
  4. Sustainable Competitive Advantage: Sustainable competitive advantage arises when a business possesses resources and capabilities that are valuable, rare, and difficult to imitate or substitute. Small businesses should invest in developing and protecting their core competencies, continuously innovating and adapting to changing market conditions, and fostering a culture of learning, creativity, and agility. By building a resilient and dynamic organizational foundation, businesses can sustain their competitive advantage over time.


Small businesses can apply the Resource-Based View framework in various strategic management activities, including:

  • Resource Identification: Identify and assess internal resources and capabilities to understand strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for differentiation.
  • Competitive Positioning: Use insights from the RBV to inform strategic positioning decisions, such as market segmentation, target audience selection, and value proposition development.
  • Strategic Investment: Allocate resources strategically to develop, enhance, and protect core competencies that drive competitive advantage and long-term growth.
  • Innovation and Differentiation: Foster a culture of innovation and creativity to continuously develop new products, services, and solutions that leverage internal strengths and address evolving customer needs.
  • Risk Management: Identify and mitigate risks associated with resource dependencies, vulnerabilities, and potential disruptions that may impact competitive advantage and organizational resilience.


The Resource-Based View (RBV) offers small businesses a valuable framework for identifying, developing, and leveraging internal resources and capabilities as sources of competitive advantage. By focusing on building distinctive competencies, delivering superior value to customers, and sustaining competitive advantage over time, small businesses can differentiate themselves in the marketplace and achieve long-term success. Through strategic resource allocation, innovation, and risk management, businesses can navigate dynamic market conditions and capitalize on opportunities for growth and expansion.