Session 103

Dynamic Capabilities for Sustainability

Track A&B

Date: Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Time: 11:00 – 12:15


Room: Dogwood Room B

Session Chair:

  • Mark DesJardine, HEC Paris

Title: Exploring Dynamic Capabilities in Community Contexts: An Empirical Investigation


  • David Wagner, GGS
  • Heinz-Theo Wagner, German Graduate School of Management and Law
  • Jochen Koch, European University Viadrina Frankfurt

Abstract: Strategy researchers have long been concerned with the sources of competitive advantage, i.e., why some firms’ performance is superior over others. One argument to answer this question is provided by the dynamic capability view which posits that some firms are better at adapting to a changing business environment than others. This study scrutinizes online communities from a strategic perspective. We present evidence which shows that organizations may use online communities to sense and shape opportunities and threats, to seize opportunities, and to reconfigure the enterprise’s intangible and tangible assets, thus helping their host organizations adapt to a changing business environment. The paper contributes to the strategy literature by analyzing how new information technologies help to build and sustain competitive advantage.

Title: R&D Dynamic Capabilities in a Changing Regulatory Context


  • John Ettlie, Rochester Intitute of Technology
  • Francisco Veloso, Lisbon Catholic School of Business and Economics
  • Muammer Ozer, City University of Hong Kong

Abstract: We tested and supported five hypotheses probing the current version of the dynamic capabilities model (Teece, 2009) in the context of a highly dynamic and complex context: the global automotive industry undergoing significant change to improve sustainable performance. Using a comparative validated sample of 104 R&D projects in the U.S. and China supported all five hypotheses. The most important general finding of the study is that the core empirical causal model of R&D Dynamic Capabilities in the U.S. and China are similar: The causal sequence of dynamic capabilities impact on project success is mediated by dominant design and relative importance of the project; Dynamic Capability (reliable) measures are very similar in both contexts; in particular there were three core competences common across both countries: combining existing capabilities, leveraging partner capabilities, and developing new capabilities.

Title: The Role of Organizational Learning and Strategic Flexibility in Business Model Innovation: A Capability-Perspective


  • Stephan von Delft, University of Glasgow
  • Jens Leker, University of Muenster

Abstract: Recent strategic management and innovation management research emphasizes the importance of business model innovation for sustainable competitive advantage. However, little is known about capabilities firms need to adapt or change their business model. To better understand the role of capabilities in business model innovation, we investigate the relationship between business model innovation and two forms of dynamic capabilities, namely strategic learning capability and strategic flexibility, using a survey among top-executives in Canada. While we conceptualize business model innovation as a second-order construct of four interlocking elements (customer value proposition, profit formula, key resources, key processes), we find empirical evidence that a capability-perspective helps firms to better understand the antecedents of business model innovation.

Title: The Value of Business Sustainability and Resilience During the Global Financial Crisis


  • Mark DesJardine, HEC Paris
  • Pratima Bansal, Western University

Abstract: After meeting the benchmark of roughly two decades of research focused on a causal relationship among social, environmental, and financial performance, we argue that researchers need to re-familiarize themselves with the original meaning of sustainability to draw more meaningful conclusions that map more closely to the principles this concept was founded on. With sustainability acting as a dynamic capability, we argue that organizations that develop sustainable practices are more resilient. In other words, they build a better contextual fit that helps them survive shocks. We test this relationship by exploring the relative impact of the 2008 global financial crisis. Drawing from a sample of 522 firms, we hypothesize that the magnitude of the shock and the time to recovery is lower for sustainable firms.

All Sessions in Track A&B...

Sun: 15:15 – 16:30
Session 101: Environmental Capabilities and Performance
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 68: International and Emerging Economy Perspectives on Sustainability
Mon: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 67: Why (and Why Not) Firms Invest in Sustainability
Mon: 14:00 – 15:15
Session 69: Incentives, Control, and Resources to Achieve Sustainability
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 106: Sustainability and Strategy: Institutional Drivers and Performance Outcomes
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 102: Building Sustainable Infrastructure
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 103: Dynamic Capabilities for Sustainability
Session 190: Stakeholder Approaches to Capitalism: Toward Increasing Social and Economic Welfare
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 104: Sustainability Behavior
Tue: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 105: Sustaining Sustainability

Strategic Management Society