The managing director and the development of dynamic capabilities: An application of enactment theory

Webb, Brian and Schlemmer, Frank (2008). The managing director and the development of dynamic capabilities: An application of enactment theory. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 16(1/2) pp. 109–137.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/19348830810915523

Abstract

Abstract: Purpose – This research aims at examining the role of the managing director in the development of dynamic capabilities at SMEs.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper used a mixed-methods approach and conducted case studies at 13 SMEs. The primary sources of data were semi-structured interviews, which were supplemented by quantitative data from a postal survey and content analysis of the companies' websites.
Findings – The paper suggests that managing directors “enact” in the development of dynamic capabilities, if they believe that dynamic capabilities are a source of competitive advantage. If they do not appreciate the importance of dynamic capabilities they can get trapped in a vicious circle.
Research limitations/implications – This research focuses especially on small firms, and it is unlikely that the findings can be applied to large firms.
Practical implications – The key managerial implication is the threat of a vicious circle if the development of dynamic capabilities is neglected.
Originality/value – This paper draws the dynamic capabilities framework and the enactment concept together, suggesting that managerial decisions and behavior affect dynamic capabilities at an organizational level, which then drives firm performance.

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