Title: Assessing the intangible sources of profitability in Japan

Authors: Pablo Gonzalo Ramirez, Toyohiko Hachiya

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan. ' Graduate School of Commerce and Management, Hitotsubashi University, 2-1 Naka, Kunitachi-shi, Tokyo 186-8601, Japan

Abstract: In this study, we empirically test the association of intangibles assets and profits, competitive advantages and their sustainability predicted by resource-based view of the firm in a sample of public Japanese firms. Our approach is based on two main variables: firm|s profitability and firm-specific profits. Our findings suggest that profitability and competitive advantages are two different measures of firm performance and may not be driven by the same factors. This led us to infer that while a certain factor may help a firm achieve higher levels of profits, differences above industry benchmark may not help build up or secure a competitive advantage.

Keywords: profitability; return on investment; ROI; competitive advantage; intangible assets; outperformers; Japan; resource-based view; RBV; business performance; firm-specific profits.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.2009.030950

International Journal of Business Performance Management, 2009 Vol.11 No.4, pp.259 - 276

Accepted: 31 Jul 2009
Published online: 14 Jan 2010 *

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