Advances and theoretical evolution in the economic-financial area have made it essential to determine and know the mathematical relationship that tangible and intangible assets have on growth and financial performance in order to be properly considered in the strategic management provided by the directors of public and private companies and by researchers.
Since the 1980s, the dominant paradigm in research on growth and financial performance, for the most part, emphasizes the approach and the idea that companies should be seen as a whole as a set of resources and capacities when charting their strategies, having as one of their main objectives the generation of value and, consequently, the construction and achievement of their competitive advantages (Lockett, Thompson, & Morgenstern, 2009).
Achieving adequate strategic management in organizations is essential to identify and analyze the growth and financial performance generated as a result of adequate investment of financial resources and optimal strategic management of tangible and intangible assets.
Investment strategies in tangible and intangible assets are conceived and applied by different disciplines, which is why when they are researched and when trying to measure their impact on growth and financial performance different approaches have been adopted as well as different techniques, models and measurement because of the difficulty of constructing a mathematical model that considers a multidisciplinary perspective. This is caused by the different approaches, different terminology as well as the diverse assumptions that exist between the disciplines (Venkatraman & Ramanujam, 1986).
Nowadays, empirical studies elaborated in relation to the financial and organizational strategies mostly try to identify the competitive advantages which look for survival and achieving financial performance in accordance with the profitability requirements demanded by businessmen. The conception of strategic management in accordance with business growth and profitability performance demanded by businessmen has motivated the interest, the necessity and the importance of reviewing the theoretical concepts and the empirical postulates adopted. The purpose of this research paper is to identify the mathematical relationship exercised by the variables of tangible and intangible resources on the variables of financial performance and growth in sales of companies in the communication sector and the service sector in Mexico.
The theory of resources and capabilities to conduct research that identifies the impact on financial performance and sales growth caused by the investment in tangible and intangible assets in the short term and in the long term considered in strategic management have not been approached with a comprehensive vision, which identifies their configuration and determines their relationship between resources and the capacities that cause an adequate financial performance; nor has it been possible to reach a final conclusion. This motivated us to review and analyze the various theoretical approaches and empirical studies that address the issue (Yarbrough, Morgan, & Vorhies, 2011; Parnell, 2011).
Theory of Resources and Capabilities
Considering companies as a broad system or set composed of resources and capabilities goes back to the research developed and published by Penrose (1959) since then the theory of resources and capabilities over time has been enriched in its diverse approaches, ideas and postulates have also been enriched by the incorporation of technologies, the large number of mathematical models and the various theoretical approaches used by researchers from multiple disciplines.
The Resource Based-View Theory (RBVT) analyzes the relative importance of the company's resources and capabilities, taking into account that these resources offer support for the competitive advantages that generate growth, increase financial performance and value in companies. It also conceives a particular way of managing, investing and positioning investments over time to generate a good relationship with sales growth and financial performance, represented by the latter's operating profit in companies (Wernerfelt, 1984; Lockett, Thompson, & Morgenstern, 2009).
The empirical studies carried out on growth and financial performance of companies that have used the theory of resources and capacities as support have found strong differences in the class and combination of the diverse resources used not only between companies of the same industry but also between groups of the same industry. These differences suggest that the effects of individual, company-specific resources on growth and profitability or financial performance can be very significant (Mahoney & Pandian, 1992; Hansen & Wernerfelt, 1989; Cool & Schendel, 1988).
Companies throughout their lives generally accumulate a unique combination of resources and tangible and intangible capabilities. They also accumulate skills and knowledge that cannot be transferred easily or without cost. The organizations are heterogeneous and have different endowments of tangible and intangible resources, product of their history, luck and past decisions. The competitive advantages of companies are supported or formed taking as a basis this pool of resources and capabilities (Fernandez & Suarez, 1996; Teece, Rumelt, Dosi, & Winter, 1994; Teece, 2007).
Controversy in The Definition and Analysis of Resources
Considering companies as a broad system or set composed of resources and capabilities goes back to the research developed The key challenge faced by resource and capacity theorists has been to define and classify what the term "resources" means. Researchers and professionals interested in the RBVT have used a variety of different terms to talk about the "resources" of a company and have also faced controversies in the definition of competences, abilities and strategic assets. After more than four decades of research, it is still an unresolved issue; hence, theorists still have to continue explaining and defining the current classification of the resources that are summarized in dynamics and operations (Prahalad & Hamel, 1990; Grant, 1991; Amit & Schoemaker, 1993, 1996; Capron & Hulland, 1999).
The identification of the characteristics, the analysis, and interpretation of the resources is condensed by Guizzardi (2005) in the following definition: A resource is "an abstraction of elements of structure" that also includes a relation of "realization" that can be used to "connect the structural elements to the resources". In sectors where the resource is dominant, companies can obtain one or several strategic advantages, resulting in sales growth and high operating profitability or financial performance.
The resources and capabilities of a company have also been defined as those assets (tangible and intangible) that are linked semi-permanently to the company and that produce and offer...