Title: Towards a better understanding of dynamic capabilities: considerations from a process management perspective

Authors: Jutta Wollersheim; Claudia Carduck; Erich Barthel; Isabell M. Welpe

Addresses: Chair for Strategy and Organisation, Technische Universität München, Leopoldstr. 139, D-80804 Munich, Germany. ' Management Department, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Sonnemannstr. 9-11, D-60314 Frankfurt/Main, Germany. ' Management Department, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Sonnemannstr. 9-11, D-60314 Frankfurt/Main, Germany. ' Chair for Strategy and Organisation, Technische Universität München, Leopoldstr. 139, D-80804 Munich, Germany

Abstract: Although dynamic capabilities are acknowledged as being critical to organisations, their conceptualisation has repeatedly been criticised. The risk of tautology has been highlighted, as if the construct of dynamic capabilities contains the notion of performance, then no convincing argument can exist for establishing a relationship between dynamic capabilities and performance. The question to be addressed here is how dynamic capabilities can be redefined avoiding this tautology. The most prominent approaches are discussed with regard to their understanding of routine and change, the interplay between these and to performance. We observe a consensus that routines and change constitute the heart of dynamic capabilities, but that previous research has not specifically addressed the tautology trap. We draw on and extend existing knowledge by referring to processes to illustrate the functionality of dynamic capabilities. We open up avenues for measuring dynamic capabilities independently of performance and provide a discussion of the findings.

Keywords: dynamic capabilities; organisational routines; changeability; process management; tautology; micro-foundations; organisational change; performance; functionality; business environment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2013.050634

International Journal of Business Environment, 2013 Vol.5 No.3, pp.299 - 317

Received: 06 Sep 2012
Accepted: 06 Sep 2012

Published online: 22 Nov 2012 *

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