Thinking Inside the Box: Linking Dynamic Capabilities to Theories of Action

University of Zurich, Institute of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 310

25 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2012

See all articles by Donald MacLean

Donald MacLean

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Robert MacIntosh

University of Glasgow - Department of Business and Management

David Seidl

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Date Written: August 13, 2012

Abstract

We argue that development of dynamic capabilities theory into a fully dynamic theory of strategy is inhibited by the operation of an incomplete set of perspectives on human action. Clarifying how human action is conceptualized, particularly as regards creativity and learning, might help strategy scholars to develop theory in ways that adequately address action at all levels of engagement in dynamic contexts, thereby turning existing contradictions into complementarities whilst accounting for issues of both content and process. By reorganizing existing literatures along action theoretic lines the paper reframes some of the difficulties in current theorizing, illustrates the value of this reframing by applying action theory to recent work on dynamic capabilities and proposes a rules-based framework as a potential integrating device for the field. The paper closes by highlighting the need for interdisciplinary research in strategy.

Keywords: Dynamic capabilities, action theory, creative action, learning, rules

Suggested Citation

MacLean, Donald and MacIntosh, Robert and Seidl, David, Thinking Inside the Box: Linking Dynamic Capabilities to Theories of Action (August 13, 2012). University of Zurich, Institute of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 310. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2131224 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2131224

Donald MacLean

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Robert MacIntosh

University of Glasgow - Department of Business and Management ( email )

West Quadrangle-Gilbert Scott Building
Glasgow, Scotland G12 8QQ
United Kingdom
0141 330 5939 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gla.ac.uk/departments/businessandmanagement/contacts/rmac.html

David Seidl (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW) ( email )

Hottingerstrasse 10
Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.om.uzh.ch

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