Respond to at least two other student posts
Is it possible that you have a strategic weapon and don’t even know it? I decided to do further research on resource-based theory, to understand how business owners can be aware of what resources they possess and their strengths. Resource based theory involves the use of strategic resources. A strategic resource is a resource that is “valuable, rare, difficult to imitate and nonsubstitutable” (Mastering Strategic Management). When we talk about strategic management, understanding what resources you can and do possess that put you at a strategic advantage in the market is critical. In order to be a lean business owner, you need to understand, properly evaluate and execute the use of your resources.
Resourceful entrepreneurs see opportunity based on the resources that are at their fingertips. To many who are not learned in research based theory, it may be easy to overlook and under-capitalize on ones strategic resources. The Journal of Management discusses this exact topic, “An understanding of how entrepreneurial actions, the creation and combining of resources that create new heterogeneous resources, can inform RBT by suggesting alternative uses of resources that have not been previously discovered leading to heterogeneous firm resources. It is the firms unique bundle of resources that is different from competitor firms that are potentially valuable and contribute to a firms competitive advantage” (S. A. Alvarez, Journal of Management). Each firm has its own set of resources that are available to them. By considering the unique position of the firm and its strengths, the firm can determine what combination of strategic resources are available to them for action.
The successful RBT entrepreneur acts like a mixologist, concocting a blend of effective resource use. I love how the Journal of Management explains this concept, “Entrepreneurial opportunities are thought to exist when different agents have insight into the value of resources that other agents do not, and the agents with the insight act upon these un-exploited opportunities. If these agents are correct, an entrepreneurial rent will be earned; if not an opportunity loss will occur” (S. A. Alvarez, Journal of Management). By thinking up new executions for the same old resources, an entrepreneur can give themselves a competitive advantage by strategically using a non-hetergenous resource. In this way, the entrepreneur has created a new strategic resource by using an existing resource in a new way. I can relate this idea to my own life. I take part in a point collecting group, where we find ways to collect points to travel for free. I was in bed at night brainstorming ways to hack points – making myself frustrated by trying to think up new ways to earn points, and I stumbled upon a potential hack. I tested this hack out and it worked, I shared it with a few of my friends in the hobby and we kept it hush hush but were able to amass a lot of free points by taking advantage of an unpatched hole that I am certain we should not have been able to. By thinking of new ways to use the resources that were available to others, I was able to bring value and strategic use of resources into my own example.
Strategic management includes resource management. How you use your resources is how well you use your time, your influence, and your money. By poising a business to operate in a lean manner and use your resources to your advantage, you are adding value to your business and is an important part of the value chain.
I decided to look up more information about trade secrets because I’ve heard of them, but I never really thought about or realized how widely used they were.
Trade secrets are just what they are, a secret, and they are secrets that can generate a large advantage in a marketplace. There’s no limitations or special requirements for them and are only protected by law in the occurrence of theft. A firm could choose to apply for a patent to help protect their creation but this can often be costly and also have a time limit. For any organization carrying trade secrets that contribute to the success of the product or service they offer, they must be careful in their actions as not to let the secret/secrets out. This is where it is a good idea to have a trade secret security plan.
In the first part of the plan, you want to identify what are your trade secrets, meaning what information do you want strictly to stay with your company? What would you not want another competitor to see that is behind your doors such as the technology you use or even your customer mailing list?
Next, you should make sure that your trade secrets are not easily accessible. Don’t keep information written down in an open space, lock things up, and if you have information on your computer be sure no one can get into it easily. You also should share information only with those who you can trust. For example, don’t share information with a new hire that doesn’t play a role in creating this product or service. The only way trade secrets get out is through people in one way or another.
Once you’ve made sure information is secure, it would also be wise to create a contractual agreement with anyone involved who does know the trade secrets. This helps to keep those individuals accountable and instills that information is not to be shared. Once anyone who should sign an agreement has, it is also wise to remind those individuals often of maintaining secrecy, even if they terminate employment.
It’s interesting to learn that trade secrets are becoming more popular due to the fact that they are less costly, have immediate protection, and no need to register for protection like other IP rights. Plus, there has been enhanced protection on trade secrets made possible by the government. It appears if an accusation was made for leaking a trade secret, the individual/firm would need to provide quality proof that they took all precautionary measures.
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