Four essays on dynamic capability deployment

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2009
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ---- As a previously valuable resource base may become less valuable - or even a liability - in a changed environment, environmental turbulence can affect organisational performance. Thus, organisations need to continuously align their resource base with environmental conditions in order to maintain and/or improve their performance. Using qualitative and quantitative data collected from senior managers of large organisations, this thesis investigates how the deployment of dynamic capabilities affects the resource base, and ultimately performance. Organisations deploy dynamic capabilities to sense, shape and seize opportunities, and to reconfigure the resource base accordingly. Building on previous research, this study finds that it is not the existence of dynamic capabilities per se, but rather their deployment that affects performance. In Paper 1, a theory development approach is employed, which combines inductive and deductive techniques to develop a general theory of dynamic capability deployment. Speed, frequency and timing are identified as important attributes of dynamic capability deployment. Furthermore, organisations with cultures that exhibit little formalisation are found to deploy their dynamic capabilities faster, more frequently and at more appropriate times than organisations with more formal, bureaucratic cultures. Finally, organisations that foster external market orientation deploy their dynamic capabilities more frequently and with better timing than those with an internal focus. In Paper 2, a deductive approach is employed to establish and test a theoretical model describing the effects of cultural values on dynamic capability deployment and the moderating role of environmental turbulence on this relationship. This paper investigates how the cultural values of clan, adhocracy, bureaucracy and hierarchy influence dynamic capability deployment. The findings suggest that cultural values have varying effects on the deployment of dynamic capabilities, depending on the degree of environmental turbulence the organisation faces. Adhocracy values positively influence dynamic capability deployment irrespective of the rate of change in the environment, whereas hierarchy values only have a positive effect in stable environments. In Paper 3, a deductive approach is employed to explore the performance implications of dynamic capability deployment. Based on the results of this study, the frequency and timing of dynamic capability deployment are found to positively influence the resource base and, consequently, performance. Also, the study reveals that the effects of dynamic capability deployment vary with the degree of environmental turbulence. Further, dynamic capability quality moderates the impact of dynamic capability deployment on the resource base. Results indicate that organisations with higher-quality dynamic capabilities should attempt to deploy them more frequently, whereas organisations with lower-quality dynamic capabilities should focus on deploying them quickly. Paper 4 investigates the moderating effect of a firm’s strategic orientation on the relationship between dynamic capability deployment and performance. This study employs a deductive approach to investigate how Miles’ & Snow’s strategic orientations affect the relationship between dynamic capability deployment and organisational performance. The results indicate that in prospector organisations the frequency and timing of dynamic capability deployment have the strongest impact on the resource base, whereas in analyser organisations the frequency of dynamic capability deployment is important. Defender organisations should focus on the timing and frequency of dynamic capability deployment. Furthermore, the results suggest that a service-dominant strategic orientation strengthens the impact of dynamic capability deployment frequency and timing on the resource base.
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