Searching for a Simple Model of Dynamic Capabilities

35 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2013

See all articles by Paul A. Pavlou

Paul A. Pavlou

Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems; Temple University - Department of Strategic Management

Omar A. El Sawy

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Date Written: December 18, 2013

Abstract

A fundamental issue for academics and practitioners is to better understand the nature and role of dynamic capabilities. Since dynamic capabilities have been viewed mostly as a “black box,” we first seek to identify, articulate, and propose a simple and measurable model of dynamic capabilities. Drawing upon the dynamic capabilities literature, we identify a set of capabilities - sensing the environment, learning, coordinating, and integrating - that are proposed to reconfigure existing operational capabilities into new ones that better match the environment. Second, to overcome concerns that dynamic capabilities are tautologically linked to performance and are only valuable in turbulent environments, we propose a structural model where dynamic capabilities indirectly affect performance in New Product Development (NPD) groups through the mediating role of operational NPD capabilities. The proposed indirect effect of dynamic capabilities on performance is also proposed to be moderated by environmental turbulence. Data from 180 NPD business units empirically support both the proposed simple model of the nature of dynamic capabilities and the structural model by which dynamic capabilities influence NPD performance through operational NPD capabilities in different levels of environmental turbulence. We discuss the study’s implications for better understanding the nature and role of dynamic capabilities.

Keywords: Dynamic Capabilities, Operational Capabilities, New Product Development, Environmental Turbulence

Suggested Citation

Pavlou, Paul A. and El Sawy, Omar A., Searching for a Simple Model of Dynamic Capabilities (December 18, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2369378 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2369378

Paul A. Pavlou (Contact Author)

Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems ( email )

1810 N. 13th Street
Floor 2
Philadelphia, PA 19128
United States

Temple University - Department of Strategic Management ( email )

Fox School of Business and Management
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Omar A. El Sawy

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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