Resource orientation

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The term resource orientation is used in different disciplines with slightly different meanings. In the context of business administration and industrial and organizational psychology , it is focused on resources that enable companies , teams , work groups and complex systems to act, especially on material and immaterial goods and values . In the context of psychology , education , psychotherapy , social work and sociology , the term focuses on the material and immaterial resources of people and / or the family and origin system. Here resource orientation refers to methods, procedures and attitudes that put the personal as well as interpersonal potential, strengths or sources of strength of individuals in the foreground (see also resource theory ). Personal resources can be promoted through specific interventions.

Business administration

The resource orientation and resource-based view , often resource-based view (RBV) is, since the late 1970s by various specialist scientists advocated theory for alternative explanation of competitive advantages of companies in which the concept of resource is put at the center. Representing can Jeffrey Pfeffer and Gerald R. Salancik be mentioned.

The scientific discipline of strategic management has undergone constant change in the investigation of the company's success: While in the 1970s there was a relatively one-sided focus on the sales market, in the 1980s there was an intense competitive and environmental orientation. The main statements of this paradigm culminate in the market structure-market behavior-market result hypothesis (Structure-Conduct-Performance-Hypothesis), in which the success of a company is based on its strategic adjustment to externally given factors, such as B. Industry characteristics, is turned off. In the 1990s, the one-sided orientation of strategic management towards external factors came under increasing criticism. With recourse to Edith Penrose , who as early as 1959 attributed success to the quality of internal resources in “The Theory of the Growth of the Firm”, the idea of ​​a resource-based view was revived. Two approaches are therefore combined in the RBV: on the one hand, strategic advantages of companies are attributed to the fact that companies have other, strategically more valuable resources; on the other hand, that they can use their resources better than their competition. Differences in corporate success are seen here - as in other approaches to evolutionary economics - in the resource endowment or in the resource markets.

Core competency approach

The core competence approach of Prahalad and Hamel anchored in the RBV narrows the field of potentially competition-relevant resources of a company to certain competencies of the company. These should be designed in such a way that they can be used in the production of a large number of goods and services and thereby bring the greatest possible benefit to the customer. Furthermore, the company should, if possible, have this core competence on its own . From this u. a. as a strategic corporate objective to develop a unique selling point called (also: Unique Selling Proposition USP resp.).

Cooperative strategies in the RBV

Despite the fact that the RBV has an internal focus, cooperative relationships also have their place within the RBV.

Reasons and goals for cooperative relationships from the perspective of the RBV are:

  • Access and integration of external resources (to generate competitive advantages, external resources must be integrated into the company's internal processes)
  • Cost and time aspects of purely internal procurement and generation of resources (acceleration of the production life cycle, for example)
  • Short-term use of complementary resources
  • One-sidedness of utility maximization (corporate egoistic goal of "outlearning")

The market as an organizational form plays (almost) no role within the RBV. On the one hand, this is due to the weak information density of the market relationships, which does not allow the creation of strategic resources. There are hardly any non-monetary incentives in the market to exchange valuable information between companies. The RBV is hierarchical, even when collaborations are analyzed. Networks are seen as a medium of internal benefit generation, where each partner tries to integrate valuable resources of the other with the intention of generating benefits in the form of a cooperation pension.

Criticism and limitations

  • Long-term value creation potential within the framework of a cooperation is difficult to integrate into the logic of the RBV. The RBV does not make a sufficient contribution to the explanation of cross-company cooperation.
  • Inconsistent notion of internal exchange processes. There is a risk that one partner will try to access the other partner's valuable resources without guaranteeing access to its own strategic resources. This leads to distrust and the dissolution of the partnership.
  • Static understanding of the cooperation. Resources and motivation are subject to constant change. Access to changing resources implies long-term cooperative relationships.
  • Exclusive application of organizational theories. There is no integration of social theories.

Pedagogy and teaching

In pedagogy, resource orientation is understood to be that approach in which an attempt is made in the educational framework to find a person's abilities or resources and to make them usable in the sense of an optimized upbringing. In pedagogy, information about the learner's strengths and interests should be the starting point for the support that the pedagogue can provide. In order to overcome weaknesses, the learner's strengths are used in the course of resource orientation.

In class, problem solutions can be worked out through the collective construction of knowledge. This assumes that pupils and students are systematically accustomed to creating knowledge together. The process takes place in such a way that unordered information is entered into the group and transformed into action knowledge by the group. Linearity a priori (pupils and students are provided with ordered knowledge) is no longer offered, but rather the learners have to actively create order from disordered information , i.e. produce linearity a posteriori . In this process, every pupil and every student is desired and challenged with their knowledge and skills. In this respect, all participants in the class are resource providers. In order to secure the flow of information, especially in the virtual space, network sensitivity should be systematically developed in the classroom (see learning through teaching ).

Psychology, Psychotherapy and Social Work

Resource orientation in the intervention sciences is based on the idea that resources are of central importance for coping with everyday and special tasks and life requirements and that ultimately, mental and physical health and well-being depend on their availability and use. Resource orientation is understood as a fundamental attitude and as a guiding principle, but not as a separate method. Resource orientation includes criticism of procedures that focus strongly on the past (such as psychoanalysis ) and leads to a relativization of the expert status of professionals such as psychotherapists or social workers. It is also fundamental that every person himself and / or in cooperation with his or her social environment has or can develop resources that can at least contribute to improving his or her lifestyle or problem. It should be noted, however, that mentally stressed people have less access to their personal and social resources and, accordingly, can only be used to a limited extent.

Resource-oriented approaches in counseling, therapy and social work emphasize a person's resources, for example their personal and social skills, which can contribute to problem solving or solutions or which have already contributed in the past. This the clients own resources and strengths are aware (again) and for problem solving accessible resource activation . This resource-oriented process of knowledge is intended to enable the client to (again) perceive their strengths and abilities and to let go of a usually highly stressful fixation on their own problems and inadequacies. This should strengthen self-esteem and self-confidence and stabilize confidence in successful and self-directed personal developments.

Using this procedure, existing resources in counseling, therapy or social work are highlighted and activated for use. On the other hand, the resource-oriented setting itself becomes a resource for clients and a significant factor for psychological and behavioral change (see factors of effect in psychotherapy).

The view that all resources for an individual lifestyle are already available in some way is to be viewed critically. In this way, essential (social) contextual factors such as the unequal distribution of resources, but also discrimination, are ignored. (See also resource theory .) In many cases, resources must first be created and consolidated in interaction with social and cultural conditions.

Resource supply in the virtual world

The Internet is not only itself a largely free (free) resource , it also provides every individual and every organization with access to a wide range of resources. This applies not only to the range of information (databases, encyclopedias), procurement sources, acquisition, financing and sales channels, which help companies reduce their fixed and transaction costs, but also to the possibility of mobilizing people . So you can get help from others on any matter through forums and chats. Communities are also formed that show mutual help as a stable characteristic. The more clearly and openly each individual presents themselves on the Internet (individual homepage) and offers them as a resource, the more they can be docked and used. Intensive collaboration in the network is facilitated by the disclosure of resources.

See also


Business administration

  • JB Barney: Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage. In: Journal of Management. 17th vol., H. 1, 1991, pp. 99-120.
  • TR Crook, DK Ketchen, JG Combs, SY Todd: Strategic Resources and Performance: A meta-analysis. In: Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 29, No. 11, 2008, pp. 1141-1154.
  • A. Fried: What does the Resource-Based View of the Firm explain? In: M. Moldaschl (Ed.): Sustainability of work and rationalization: interdisciplinary perspectives. Hampp, Munich 2004.
  • DG Hoopes, TL Madsen, G. Walker: Guest Editors' Introduction to the Special Issue: Why is There a Resource-Based View? Toward a Theory of Competitive Heterogeneity. In: Strategic Management Journal. 24, 2003, pp. 889-902.
  • MA Peteraf: The cornerstones of competitive advantage: a resource-based view. In: Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 14, No. 3, 1993, pp. 179-191.
  • Richard P. Rumelt : How much does industry matter? In: Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 12, No. 3, 1991, pp. 167-185.
  • David J. Collis, Cynthia A. Montgomery: Competing on Resources: Strategy in the 1990s. Harvard Business Review, July-August 1995.
  • D. Teece, G. Pisano, A. Shuen: Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management. In: Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 18, No. 7 1997, pp. 509-533.
  • B. Wernerfelt: A resource-based view of the firm. In: Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 5, 1984, pp. 171-180.

Pedagogy and teaching

Psychology, psychotherapy, social work

  • Alban Knecht, Franz-Christian Schubert (Ed.): Resources in the welfare state and in social work. Allocation - Promotion - Activation. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-17-021810-9 .
  • Thomas Möbius, Sibylle Friedrich: Resource-oriented work. Instructions for a successful transfer of practice in the social sector. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2010.
  • Franz-Christian Schubert: Resource orientation in the context of lifestyle. Basic theories and conceptual developments. In: Behavioral Therapy & Psychosocial Practice. 48th vol. (4), 2016, pp. 827-844.
  • Johannes Schaller, Heike Schemmel: Resources. A handbook and reader on psychotherapeutic work. 2nd Edition. dgvt, Tübingen 2013.


  1. Jeffrey Pfeffer, Gerald R. Salancik: The external control of organizations: a resource dependence perspective. Harper & Row, New York 1978, ISBN 0-06-045193-9 .
  2. ^ CK Prahalad, Gary Hamel: The Core Competence of the Corporation. Harvard Business Review, May – June 1990.
  3. Ute Willutzi: Resource Orientation in Psychotherapy - A "New" Perspective. 2000, accessed September 15, 2017 .
  4. a b Ute Willutzki, Tobias Teismann: Resource activation in psychotherapy . Hogrefe, Göttingen et al. 2013, ISBN 978-3-8017-2130-5 .
  5. ^ A b Klaus Grawe, Marianne Grawe-Gerber: Resource Activation - A Primary Active Principle of Psychotherapy. In: Psychotherapist. 44 (2), 1999, pp. 63-73.
  6. ^ Franz-Christian Schubert: Resource Activation. In: D. Wälte, M. Borg-Lauf (ed.): Handbook of advice in social work. Stuttgart; Kohlhammer 2017.
  7. ^ C. Reuben: Neurolinguistic Programming. In: D. Revenstorf (Ed.): Clinical Hypnosis. Springer, Berlin 1993, pp. 446-461.
  8. Alban Knecht: The importance of psychological resources for disadvantaged young people at the transition from school to training and work. In: Behavioral Therapy & Psychosocial Practice. 48th vol., H. 4, 2016, pp. 847-860.