The Behavioral and Evolutionary Roots of Dynamic Capabilities

30 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2008 Last revised: 27 Jul 2017

See all articles by Felix Arndt

Felix Arndt

University of Roehampton

Lamar Pierce

Washington University, Saint Louis - John M. Olin School of Business

David Teece

Institute for Business Innovation

Date Written: July 26, 2017

Abstract

Although the dynamic capabilities framework has proved important for explaining long-term competitive advantage, some scholars have attacked it as lacking theoretical underpinnings. In this paper, we clarify the lineage of the “dynamics” in the dynamic capabilities framework from the non-strategic model of Cyert and March to the dynamic evolutionary theory of the firm in Nelson and Winter that enabled the initial breakthrough of Teece, Pisano and Shuen. We explain that the theoretical schism in dynamic capabilities between the tradition of Eisenhardt and Martin and that of Teece and colleagues can be traced to their relative emphasis on behavioral versus evolutionary theories. Finally, we provide a brief overview of implications for emergent topics and empirical research, along with ideas for future research.

Keywords: dynamic capabilities, behavioral theory, routines

Suggested Citation

Arndt, Felix and Pierce, Lamar and Teece, David J., The Behavioral and Evolutionary Roots of Dynamic Capabilities (July 26, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1161171 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1161171

Felix Arndt

University of Roehampton ( email )

London, SW15 5NL
United Kingdom

Lamar Pierce (Contact Author)

Washington University, Saint Louis - John M. Olin School of Business ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States
314-935-5205 (Phone)

David J. Teece

Institute for Business Innovation ( email )

F402 Haas School of Business, #1930
Berkeley, CA 94720-1930
United States
(510) 642-4041 (Phone)

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