Session 8

Operationalizing the Concept of Dynamic Capabilities

Track D

Date: Friday, March 19, 2010


Time: 13:15 – 14:45


Room: Kokoustila 4

Session Chair:

Title: Developing Dynamic Capabilities


  • Roy Hamans, Cambridge Executive Partners

Abstract: Based on a review of the literature, the thesis is that dynamic capabilities may be developed as a dual-process of dynamic fit and competence development. The concept of dynamic capabilities, and the suggested procedures, are positioned within a matrix of levels and states suggested in the literature, in an attempt to invite discussion and aim towards a commonly understood and accepted taxonomy in order to develop the field of dynamic capabilities.

Title: Dynamic Capabilities: Three Conceptualisations of the Impact of Environmental Volatility


  • Felix Arndt, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: The field of strategic management is concerned with the fundamental question of how firms achieve and sustain competitive advantage. In recent years, research has paid increasing attention to dynamic capabilities as a source of differences in firm performance. Although the development of dynamic capabilities is expected to be costly, they are per definition seen as especially valuable for firms facing environmental volatility. According to Eisenhardt and Martin (2000), differences in environmental volatility cause a dissolution of the underlying capability concept. This research investigates this proposition by theorizing the interrelations between 1) successsfully changing firms in (2) little, moderate and rapid changing industries. The primary contributions of this paper is the examination of a central proposition of the concept of dynamic capabilities.

Title: Dynamics Between Competence Management and Business Configurations


  • Yi-Ju Lo, Yuan Ze University

Abstract: Recent studies have tried to understand the way competition between multinationals and local champions in China market and to pinpoint the keys to success. However, few of them did not discuss the dynamics in business configurations into which a firm may have to build new competence for future action in order to address rapidly competitive environment. Thus the dynamic interplay between competence building and the scope of business configuration served becomes a critical managerial issue. To narrow this knowledge gap, the present study undertakes a conceptual study on how a firm’s competence management efforts will affect the scope of business configuration which in turn leads to differential economic performance.

Title: Operationalization of Capabilities: A Review


  • Mirva Peltoniemi, Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics
  • Ulriikka Tikkanen, Helsinki University of Technology
  • Ola Laaksonen, Helsinki University of Technology

Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to review empirical capabilities research in order to shed light on the ways in which capabilities have been operationalized. The review includes all capabilities articles from Strategic Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly and Academy of Management Journal published between 1986 and 2009. It is found that the bulk of the operationalizations fall under the following three archetypes: (1) patents as indicator of technological capability, (2) manager surveys as indicator of organizational capability, and (3) experience in years and number of product launches as indicator of market capability. The future potential of these archetypes is assessed in regard to construct validity, flexibility and the availability of data.

All Sessions in Track D...

Thu: 13:15 – 14:45
Session 2: Capability Dynamics in MNCs
Thu: 15:15 – 16:45
Session 6: Processes and Practices of Decision Making
Thu: 17:00 – 18:30
Session 4: Processes and Practices of Building Dynamic Capabilities
Fri: 10:15 – 11:45
Session 7: Orchestrating Dynamic Capabilities
Fri: 13:15 – 14:45
Session 8: Operationalizing the Concept of Dynamic Capabilities

Strategic Management Society