The fields of entrepreneurship and strategic management deal with the fundamental processes and forces that affect the start-up, prosperity, and survival of organizations. In both fields it is argued that a company's potential long-run performance is determined by the degree to which it can develop and maintain a 'fit' between its skills and resources and environmental demands. Through the use of rigorous, in-depth case studies, this book takes a comprehensive look at the process by which leaders, as entrepreneurs and strategists, attempt to build and craft the skill-bases of their firms to best create long-term value for their customers. Part one examines the foundations of resource-based approaches to management and strategic thinking, and presents a detailed process-typology of organizational resources that serves as a basis for understanding how resources can be leveraged into sustainable strategic advantage. Part two presents the case histories of four very different firms, including a high-tech chemicals research company, a custom cabinet manufacturer, a large corporate industrial engineering firm, and a craft-oriented surgical instrument maker. Each case provides a unique setting from which insights into the value creation process are presented. Part three compares and contrasts the insights discussed in the case analysis, and integrates the findings into a 'practitioner-based' model of value creation. This model is then further integrated with current academic theory, and a more formal theory of the value creation process is presented. In part four, issues such as the 'skill life-cycle', the relationship between technology and human skill development, and leadership styles and processes are discussed. The implications of the research are presented with respect to the practice of entrepreneurship and strategic thinking, to future research and theory in those fields, and to policy choices for government and private leaders.