Paper info: REVISITING DYNAMIC CAPABILITIES AND THEIR MICROFOUNDATIONS: A STUDY IN THE CONTEXT OF BUSINESS SCHOOLS
REVISITING DYNAMIC CAPABILITIES AND THEIR MICROFOUNDATIONS: A STUDY IN THE CONTEXT OF BUSINESS SCHOOLS
Patrick Loux and Jean-Denis Culié
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 32nd IMP-conference in Poznan, Poland in 2016.
During the past twenty years, the dynamic capabilities concept has been largely developed but it seems that the main concepts of this framework, as well as the relationships between these concepts, are still not completely stabilized. For example, there is a debate about the way of viewing the three assets orchestration processes of sensing, seizing and transforming proposed by Teece: some authors consider these orchestration processes as clusters of dynamic capabilities whereas others consider them as drivers of dynamic capabilities. Another debate concerns the microfoundations of dynamic capabilities whose nature is not precisely defined. For, microfoundations are often considered as ordinary capacities of generic management good practices. The purpose of our paper is to clarify the interdependent notions of dynamic capabilities, assets orchestration processes and microfoundations, and to propose specific dynamic capabilities that offer better insights for practitioners. Empirical research was undertaken in 2011-2012 in the sector of Business Schools. This choice may be mainly explained by the fact that Business Schools have recently faced unprecedented challenges. The research design consists in two case studies, one Business School located in UK and the other one in France. Most of the data collected is based upon 40 interviews with key staff in each School, key stakeholders in the region and also businesses and organisations who were ‘clients’ of the Schools. Our findings suggest that a dynamic capability encompasses the three assets orchestration processes of sensing, seizing and transforming. Each orchestration process is based upon the activation of one or more specific microfoundations. Microfoundations may be viewed as socio-cognitive processes that include different inputs and produce outputs in one of the three processes of sensing, seizing and transforming. Moreover, we identify two specific dynamic capabilities with their microfoundations that seem able to give a sustainable competitive advantage to the Business Schools under study: the capability to match the divergent interests of the key stakeholders and the capability to exploit relational assets in a value-enhancing path.