Session 54

The dynamics of dynamic capabilities

Track E

Date: Monday, October 8, 2012


Time: 13:30 – 14:45

Common Ground

Room: Terrace 1


  • Benjamin Campbell, Ohio State University

Title: An Evolutionary View Of Dynamic Capabilities: The Case of Schelde Naval Shipbuilding


  • J W Stoelhorst, University of Amsterdam
  • Iuliana Gabriela Dobrea, University of Amsterdam

Abstract: The dynamic capabilities view (DCV) has arguably become the theoretical centerpiece of efforts to understand how firms can successfully compete in changing environments. However, recent reviews of the dynamic capabilities literature have raised concerns about the conceptual foundations of the DCV. In particular, doubts have been raised about the explanatory framework that links dynamic capabilities to performance outcomes. In this paper, we present a case study of a firm that successfully adapted to a major change in its competitive environment. In analyzing this case, we adopt an evolutionary view of dynamic capabilities and we show how this view sheds light on the nature of dynamic capabilities and their link to performance outcomes.

Title: Dynamic Capabilities and Performance: Investigating the Roles of Competitive Intensity & Firm Structure


  • Ralf Wilden, University of Newcastle
  • Siggi Gudergan, University of Newcastle
  • Bo Nielsen, Copenhagen Business School
  • Ian Lings, Queensland University of Technology

Abstract: Processes relating to sensing and seizing opportunities and reconfiguring the organizational resource base are often invoked to explain heterogeneity in performance among business firms. However, despite decades of theoretical and empirical studies, our understanding of the conditions under which these so-called dynamic capabilities enhance firm performance is limited. We propose and test a contingency model of the dynamic capability – performance relationship. The results obtained from partial least squares (PLS) path modeling analyses demonstrate how firm performance arises from the fit (i.e., interaction) of organizational structure with dynamic capabilities and of dynamic capabilities with competitive intensity. Together, the results point to the importance of internal alignment between organizational structure and dynamic capabilities and external alignment between dynamic capabilities and competitive intensity in improving organizational performance.

Title: Dynamic Capability Deployment among U.S. Defense Systems Integrators as a Response to Environmental Change


  • Colette Depeyre, University of Paris-Dauphine
  • Jean-Philippe Vergne, University of Western Ontario

Abstract: We conduct a longitudinal case study of the top five U.S. defense systems integrators between 1998 and 2007 to examine their response to the massive environmental change triggered by the 9/11 attacks. We collected and organized data around a set of fine-grained measures to analyze, over time and across firms, top management attention to change in the environment, discourse about firm-level change as well as how firms actually renew their assets at multiple levels. We find that the process of dynamic capability (DC) deployment unfolds in three steps, from the recognition that the environment has changed (monitoring and sensing), to the decision to deploy DC (analyzing and deciding) and to the implementation of asset re-orchestration (implementing). Methodological, theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Title: On Microfoundations of Dynamic Capabilities


  • Wein-hong Chen, National Dong Hwa University

Abstract: This proposed research seeks to explore critical aspects pertaining microfoundations of dynamic capabilities. In this research, two stages of research work will be involved. The first stage is an inductive case study. The purpose of the inductive case study is to explore distinctive roles of managers and organizational routines as well as investigates whether managerial roles and organizational routines complement to or substitute for each other in dynamic environments. The second stage involves a measure development process. Integrating inductive case study findings and literatures, a micro-foundation measure of dynamic capabilities will be constructed. The proposed research will not only contribute to the theoretical development of the dynamic capabilities perspective but also provide insights for practitioners striving for retaining competitive advantages in dynamic global battles.

Title: Ordinary and Dynamic Capabilities: Longitudinal Effects on Firm Performance in Changing Times


  • Eberhard Riesenkampff, EBS University
  • Amit Karna, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
  • Ansgar Richter, University of Surrey

Abstract: The capabilities literature differentiates between dynamic and ordinary capabilities. While ordinary capabilities seem to have an immediate effect on performance as they enable firms to make a living, dynamic capabilities are associated with upgrading ordinary capabilities in a changing environment. With the help of a unique and extensive data set of 726 firms spread across 22 years, we attempt to investigate the relative role of dynamic and ordinary capabilities in sustaining competitive advantage over time. Our preliminary findings indicate that, although ordinary capabilities are positively associated with immediate performance, dynamic capabilities are not found to play a major role in long term performance. However, some dynamic capabilities strongly enhance the effect of ordinary capabilities on firm performance in the long term.

Title: Unblocking the Conceptual Log Jam: Using a Rules Perspective to Make Sense of Dynamic Capability


  • Kate Buell-Armstrong, University of Glasgow
  • Robert MacIntosh, Heriot-Watt University
  • Donald Maclean, University of Glasgow

Abstract: During the last two decades, research in dynamic capabilities has promised to unlock understanding of how competitive advantage arises in dynamic markets. However to date, empirical work has by and large focused on what dynamic capabilities are. There has been little work demonstrating how they actually operate and contribute to competitive advantage other than at the conceptual level. There is a ‘log jam’ of research in this field which we argue can be addressed by using a rules perspective: an insight obtained from an inductive case-study of a successful UK financial services firm. We contend that a hierarchy of dynamic capability exists within a firm and at its nth level this capability expresses itself in the generative rules within the deep structure of the firm.

All Sessions in Track E...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 270: New Frontiers in the Computational Approaches to Strategy and Organization
Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 271: Competing for Innovation
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 272: Unified Theory of Industry Evolution
Sun: 15:15 – 16:30
Session 52: Networks and competition
Session 66: Competitive strategies in transition
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 55: Risk, uncertainty and competitive advantage
Session 64: Diverse strategies: Diversification and the evolution of competition
Mon: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 65: Resourceful competitors: Competitive strategies and the resource based view
Mon: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 54: The dynamics of dynamic capabilities
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 57: Finding your niche: Niche Strategies and Competitive Advantage
Session 245: Competitors, strategy, and competitive dynamics
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 56: Competitive dynamics meet competitive strategy
Session 254: Capital Markets and Efficiency
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 58: Innovation and competitive strategy
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 60: The sustainability of competitive advantage
Session 61: Value creation and value capture
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 62: Acquiring competitive success? Mergers and acquisitions
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 59: Tempus fugit? Competitive strategy over time

Strategic Management Society