Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

How dynamic capabilities change ordinary capabilities: Reconnecting attention control and problem‐solving


Schulze, Anja; Brusoni, Stefano (2022). How dynamic capabilities change ordinary capabilities: Reconnecting attention control and problem‐solving. Strategic Management Journal, 43(12):2447-2477.

Abstract

Research Summary

Building on the attention-based view of the firm, we elaborate the concept of dynamic capabilities and identify two constitutive elements: attention control and problem-solving. We show empirically that the control element of dynamic capabilities regulates how organizations (dis-)engage attention on operational versus change-oriented tasks. On this basis, we develop a process model of how control and problem-solving interact to reconfigure resources and thus modify ordinary capabilities. We study the adoption of lean management in the R&D unit of a large U.S. corporation. Our longitudinal case study identifies obstacles that organizations have to overcome to establish effective dynamic capabilities that enable their adaptation to changing environmental circumstances.

Managerial Summary

“The vast majority of all change initiatives fail”: We hear this statement a lot in our interactions with practitioners. In this article, we suggest an explanation of why achieving persistent, behavioral change is hard: attention to change processes is difficult to maintain over an extended period of time. Initiatives start, then fade away. By studying the interplay of control mechanisms (that keep organizational attention on the long-term goals) and problem-solving tools (that identify what and how to change in the short term), we provide a framework that can generate actionable implications for executives. In particular, we focus on the decisive and yet underestimated role played by key performance indicators in sustaining attention on change initiatives.

Abstract

Research Summary

Building on the attention-based view of the firm, we elaborate the concept of dynamic capabilities and identify two constitutive elements: attention control and problem-solving. We show empirically that the control element of dynamic capabilities regulates how organizations (dis-)engage attention on operational versus change-oriented tasks. On this basis, we develop a process model of how control and problem-solving interact to reconfigure resources and thus modify ordinary capabilities. We study the adoption of lean management in the R&D unit of a large U.S. corporation. Our longitudinal case study identifies obstacles that organizations have to overcome to establish effective dynamic capabilities that enable their adaptation to changing environmental circumstances.

Managerial Summary

“The vast majority of all change initiatives fail”: We hear this statement a lot in our interactions with practitioners. In this article, we suggest an explanation of why achieving persistent, behavioral change is hard: attention to change processes is difficult to maintain over an extended period of time. Initiatives start, then fade away. By studying the interplay of control mechanisms (that keep organizational attention on the long-term goals) and problem-solving tools (that identify what and how to change in the short term), we provide a framework that can generate actionable implications for executives. In particular, we focus on the decisive and yet underestimated role played by key performance indicators in sustaining attention on change initiatives.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
10 citations in Web of Science®
18 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

173 downloads since deposited on 26 Oct 2022
24 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business and International Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Strategy and Management
Uncontrolled Keywords:Strategy and Management, Business and International Management
Scope:Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Language:English
Date:1 December 2022
Deposited On:26 Oct 2022 09:23
Last Modified:21 Jun 2024 03:33
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0143-2095
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/smj.3413
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:22873
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPP00P1_150490
  • : Project TitleManaging innovation efficiency in a knowledge based economy
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)