Understanding the Elusive Black Box of Dynamic Capabilities

Understanding the Elusive Black Box of Dynamic Capabilities ABSTRACT A major challenge for managers in turbulent environments is to make sound decisions quickly. Dynamic capabilities have been proposed as a means for addressing turbulent environments by helping managers extend, modify, and reconfigure existing operational capabilities into new ones that better match the environment. However, because dynamic capabilities have been viewed as an elusive black box, it is difficult for managers to make sound decisions in turbulent environments if they cannot effectively measure dynamic capabilities. Therefore, we first seek to propose a measurable model of dynamic capabilities by conceptualizing, operationalizing, and measuring dynamic capabilities. Specifically, drawing upon the dynamic capabilities literature, we identify a set of capabilities—sensing the environment, learning, coordinating, and integrating—that help reconfigure existing operational capabilities into new ones that better match the environment. Second, we propose a structural model where dynamic capabilities influence performance by reconfiguring existing operational capabilities in the context of new product development (NPD). Data from 180 NPD units support both the measurable model of dynamic capabilities and also the structural model by which dynamic capabilities influence performance in NPD by reconfiguring operational capabilities, particularly in higher levels of environmental turbulence. The study's implications for managerial decision making in turbulent environments by capturing the elusive black box of dynamic capabilities are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Decision Sciences Wiley

Understanding the Elusive Black Box of Dynamic Capabilities

Decision Sciences, Volume 42 (1) – Feb 1, 2011

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2011 The Authors Decision Sciences Journal © 2011 Decision Sciences Institute
ISSN
0011-7315
eISSN
1540-5915
DOI
10.1111/j.1540-5915.2010.00287.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT A major challenge for managers in turbulent environments is to make sound decisions quickly. Dynamic capabilities have been proposed as a means for addressing turbulent environments by helping managers extend, modify, and reconfigure existing operational capabilities into new ones that better match the environment. However, because dynamic capabilities have been viewed as an elusive black box, it is difficult for managers to make sound decisions in turbulent environments if they cannot effectively measure dynamic capabilities. Therefore, we first seek to propose a measurable model of dynamic capabilities by conceptualizing, operationalizing, and measuring dynamic capabilities. Specifically, drawing upon the dynamic capabilities literature, we identify a set of capabilities—sensing the environment, learning, coordinating, and integrating—that help reconfigure existing operational capabilities into new ones that better match the environment. Second, we propose a structural model where dynamic capabilities influence performance by reconfiguring existing operational capabilities in the context of new product development (NPD). Data from 180 NPD units support both the measurable model of dynamic capabilities and also the structural model by which dynamic capabilities influence performance in NPD by reconfiguring operational capabilities, particularly in higher levels of environmental turbulence. The study's implications for managerial decision making in turbulent environments by capturing the elusive black box of dynamic capabilities are discussed.

Journal

Decision SciencesWiley

Published: Feb 1, 2011

References

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