Duality, Dependence, and Organizational Responses to Factor Market Failure: A Natural Resource Perspective
Do natural resources leave ‘imprints’ on the factors in which they are used that affect how organizations deal with dependence? Our central proposition is that to answer this question we have to recognize duality, defined as the difference between the natural resource and the function(s) it renders. Additionally, we must understand whether factor market failure stems from supply shortages or demand increases. We delineate four different archetypes of duality and propose dependence management strategies used to cope with supply- or demand-induced scarcity. Whereas resource dependence research typically focuses on the resource owner – acquirer dyad, we contend that this dyadic relation is only one possible source of dependence, besides supply-induced dependence on the natural resource itself, and demand-induced dependence on the function offered by the acquired factor. Thus, we propound that relational, functional, and resource dependence jointly inform the selection of the type of organizational response required. Rooted in the natural environment and the dynamics of factor market failure we broaden the usability of resource dependence theory by looking at different forms of dependence experienced at the level of the macroculture that are largely orthogonal to extant discussions on dependence as determined by concentration of discretion over resources.