The challenge of resource construction: A case study of Grundfos Lifelink

Malou Berggreen Jakobsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The company Grundfos LIFELINK (GL) has discovered that an environment in which its resources are rendered valuable, and it can apply its innovative business model into does not pre-exist. As it turns out that resources are not pre given the thesis seeks to answer how valuable resources are constructed. To do so there is a need to deviate from the realist assumptions of the Resource Based View in which unique resources are pre-existing, just waiting to be exploited. Instead the constructionist view of the Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is applied in order to investigate the process of resource value creation. Taking this approach resources can be seen as an outcome of assembling and stabilising a network of heterogeneous entities via the concept of translation. Moreover, it is argued that the value of a company's resources does not only depend on a firm's ability to manage its internal assets, as explained by the RBV, but also its ability to manage the external context. Hence, the thesis also explores how innovative firms can influence the process of resource value creation. Five of GL's resources of which the value has been questioned by the company's external context are examined. The analysis shows that valuable resources indeed are outcomes of a process in which actors either support or contest the different translations of the resources. The more translations that support a resource, the more valuable it becomes. It turns out that all GL's resources are contested and can not be considered valuable yet. The analysis also reveals that creating a network of associations in which a new technology has value and is rendered useful is quite a challenge, demanding the firms to take active part in the construction of valuable resources through hard work. Companies can manage their external context through co-creation which requires the companies to interact with their stakeholders through dialogue and deep engagement. Hence it is concluded that co-creation can help firms detect and respond to the contesting translations, thus constructing stabilised valuable resources. As GL's five resources are not yet valuable the recommendations for the company are that the company should be prepared that the construction of valuable resources is an explorative learning process in which set-backs occur. Furthermore, through co-creation the company has to engage with the external context in order to reveal the contesting translations, and ultimately construct valuable resources.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages81