A resource is defined as something that is considered useful and valuable by human beings. It is a supply or a source that has utility and produces a benefit. A resource is also referred to as an economic factor that helps to accomplish a specific activity and achieve desired results.
Table of Contents
What is a Resource?
A resource is a tool that fulfills human needs adequately. It is a fact that what we consider a resource today might not remain so in the future or vice-versa.
There was a time when oil was of no use and thus was not considered a resource, but today it is one of the most important ones in the world, and its value is undisputedly high above most of things.
Classification of resources is dependent upon their availability, based on origin, level of use, and development and based on distribution. It is a broad term, and in most cases, its definition is dependent upon various fields like biology and ecology, economics, human resources, management, and computer science.
In economics, a resource is an asset or a service that is used in the production of goods and services to meet the requirements of human beings. The three major types of resources in economics are capital, labor, and land. Capital includes goods made by human beings that are used in producing further services and goods.
Land includes the source of the raw materials and the production site. Labour includes the human effort in creating products.
2. Biology and ecology
In biology and ecology, the resource is referred to as a substance used by the living organism for reproduction, maintenance, and normal growth. Significant examples of resources for plants are water and sunlight, and for animals is water, food, and land.
3. Human resources
Human beings are also considered a valuable resource as they have the necessary skills, know-how, technology, and intelligence to create useful things from natural resources.
4. Computer science
A virtual or physical component that has limited availability within a computer is known as a computer resource. It includes storage, processing, input, and output, etc.
Types of resources
Are you aware of how many types of resources are there? Well, a resource is generally categorized into two kinds Natural Resources and Man-made Resource.
1. Natural resource
What are natural resources is a general question that needs to be addressed. A natural resource is anything derived from the environment that can satisfy human wants and needs.
Some are important for human survival, whereas others for satisfying unending desires. In other words, all the things that are far away from the social intervention are known as a natural resource.
It is considered a significant material base of development in a region. Any other resource cannot compensate for its deficit.
The various types of natural resources based on origin are
A. Abiotic Resource
All the non-living things are known as Abiotic Resources. Some famous examples of resources are air, water, land, and minerals, for instance, silver, gold, iron, etc.
B. Biotic resource
All the living things are known as Biotic Resources. Some famous examples of resources are animals, forests and their products, fish as well as marine organisms, birds, etc.
Some essential minerals that have formed from fossil organic matter, for instance, petroleum and coal, are considered Biotic resources.
The various types of natural resources based on the stage of development are
A. Actual Resources
The natural resources whose quality and quantity are determined, surveyed, and are in use are known as Actual Resources. Prime examples of Actual Resources are natural gas or petroleum that is actively derived from a specific location.
An Actual resource is further divided into two categories. The part that can be developed with available technology for a profit is known as Reserve Resource, and one that cannot be produced profitably due to the unavailability of technology is called Stock Resource.
B. Potential Resources
The natural resources that are known to exist in the environment and will be used at a later date in the future are known as Potential Resources. One of the most common examples of Potential Resource is petroleum that exists in numerous places, but until and unless it is drilled out for use, it will be considered Potential Resource.
The various types of natural resources based on renewability are
A. Renewable Resource
The natural resources that can be replenished are known as Renewable Resources. These are available regularly, and their quantity is not affected to a higher degree after human consumption.
If overused, they can be depleted over time as their recovery rate is less. Some resources are consumed by use, but they again can be replenished like crops. Some of the natural renewable resources like sunlight and air, are available continuously.
They are referred to as Perpetual Resources because human consumption does not have an impact on its quantity.
B. Non-renewable Resource
The natural resources that form in the environment at a prolonged rate or long geographical time-period are known as Non-renewable Resources. Their rate of consumption is much higher than the rate of recovery, and the chances of being extinct are also higher as they cannot be replenished easily.
Some examples of resources are minerals, fossils, coal, etc.
The various types of natural resources based on distribution are
A. Localized Resources
The natural resources that are found in very few regions of the world are referred to as Localized Resources. A notable example of a resource is geothermal power.
B. Ubiquitous Resources
The natural resources that are found in most of the regions of the world are referred to as Ubiquitous Resources. Some famous examples of resources are water and sunlight.
2. Man-made Resources
The things that do not occur in the natural world but have value to human life is defined as Man-made Resources. Some examples of resources are paper, rubber, plastic, etc. All the things where human beings can interfere, intervene, generate, modify, and control are also known as Man-made resources.
Man has developed the necessary technology, skill, and ability to create resources.
It is a fact that natural things are often used by man to create something new that will add worth to human life. This is also referred to as man-made resources. Metals, wood, etc. are natural resources, but human beings use it to build roads, buildings, etc. These are generally renewable as they can be created again through the same process.
Some of the man-made resources are very useful to the survival of human beings and are in high demand. One prime example of a man-made resource is medicines without which people will not be able to survive as a lack of proper medication can make people sick, and they will ultimately face death.
Man-made Resources are sometimes considered harmful as it destroys the natural environment. They use more energy and resources so that the chances of polluting the environment become greater.
A resource is the undisputed basis of development and growth. An abundance of resources leads to prosperity, and this is why every nation is on the look-out for optimal utilization of resources.
Liked this post? Check out the complete series on Operations Management