Three Elements Of Bricolage

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Bricolage is a concept first mentioned by L ́evi-Strauss in 1967. He defined it as “making do with what is at hand”, which arrives when the entrepreneur does not actively search for specific resources, but instead uses those that are easily available (Baker, Miner and Eesley, 2003). Examples of bricolage can be found in every aspect of a firm: customers, financing, suppliers, office space, advice, employees, etc. L ́evi-Strauss (1967) stated that there are three elements that characterize a firm that applies bricolage: ‘making do’, ‘re- sources at hand’ and the ‘recombination of resources for new purposes’. Bricolage explains some of the behaviour seen in small firms that build something from nothing by making use of inputs that other firms…show more content…
Entrepreneurs that engage in bricolage activities often collect several bits and pieces – both physical objects as skills or ideas – just in case they could be useful, instead of acquiring them because there is a well- defined need for them. Those resources are often cheap or even for free, because others perceive them as futile. Both physical resources (e.g. tools and materials) and abstract resources (e.g. skills) (Duymedjian and Ru ̈ling, 2010) are gathered in what is called a “resources trove” (Baker and Nelson, 2005; Stinchfield et al., 2013). The specific social and organisational mechanisms that are helping the entrepreneur creating something from scratch, and the ability to use inputs at hand can differ significantly between different firms. Thus, this could also be an important indicator to explain the current black box (Penrose, 1959) of how firms create value (Baker and Nelson,…show more content…
Both the Resource Based View and Bricolage state that resource bundles or combinations create value for a firm, and thus that knowledge about these resources and their attributes are important. Both theories outline unique and difficult-to-copy product and service offerings, and talk about creating competitive advantages. Obviously there are differences between both theories: in the Resource Based View resources are acquired, whereas with bricolage they are accessed – through pre- existing relationships or networks. Another important difference lies within the meaning of resources. For the Resource Based View, this is predefined ex ante: the value of a resource is assigned and rather fixed. For bricolage, the meaning of a resource is more flexible and is viewed in the context of a more specific task. A last difference concerns the creation of resource bundles. In the Resource Based View, these resource bundles are viewed as given and already established, whereas in bricolage, a lot of attention goes to the creation of those resource bundles (Senyard, 2015). This is also the case in the resource management process, which I will discuss later in this literature

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