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Non-cognitive microfoundations: understanding dynamic capabilities as idiosyncratically refined sensitivities and predispositions

Non-cognitive microfoundations: understanding dynamic capabilities as idiosyncratically refined sensitivities and predispositions
Non-cognitive microfoundations: understanding dynamic capabilities as idiosyncratically refined sensitivities and predispositions
The dynamic capabilities framework has been used to explain how firms successfully adapt to changing environments. However, tensions exist in the literature surrounding the idiosyncratic, tacit and hence inimitable nature of dynamic capabilities. The literature struggles to explain in cognitivist terms how such firm capabilities are acquired in the first instance. In this paper, we argue that a firm’s dynamic capabilities rest upon a tacitly-shared substrate of sensitivities and predispositions that precede cognitive representation. These sensitivities and predispositions are typically transmitted and shared unconsciously through social practices rather than through formal instruction. They provide the microfoundational substrate of capabilities that enables a firm to effectively respond by orienting its members towards external environmental challenges in a manner unique to the firm’s history. Such sensitivities and predispositions provide an organizational modus operandi for members to reconfigure capabilities and resources and capitalize on the opportunities arising therefrom.
0363-7425
Nayak, Ajit
215d7e25-0bc4-44ff-a015-5daf887604df
Chia, Robert
beca64f1-27dd-4d12-b18c-91bb044d92a9
Canales, Ignacio
a318e433-a9ac-4617-b789-fd5901ff9db2
Nayak, Ajit
215d7e25-0bc4-44ff-a015-5daf887604df
Chia, Robert
beca64f1-27dd-4d12-b18c-91bb044d92a9
Canales, Ignacio
a318e433-a9ac-4617-b789-fd5901ff9db2

Nayak, Ajit, Chia, Robert and Canales, Ignacio (2019) Non-cognitive microfoundations: understanding dynamic capabilities as idiosyncratically refined sensitivities and predispositions. Academy of Management Review. (doi:10.5465/amr.2016.0253).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The dynamic capabilities framework has been used to explain how firms successfully adapt to changing environments. However, tensions exist in the literature surrounding the idiosyncratic, tacit and hence inimitable nature of dynamic capabilities. The literature struggles to explain in cognitivist terms how such firm capabilities are acquired in the first instance. In this paper, we argue that a firm’s dynamic capabilities rest upon a tacitly-shared substrate of sensitivities and predispositions that precede cognitive representation. These sensitivities and predispositions are typically transmitted and shared unconsciously through social practices rather than through formal instruction. They provide the microfoundational substrate of capabilities that enables a firm to effectively respond by orienting its members towards external environmental challenges in a manner unique to the firm’s history. Such sensitivities and predispositions provide an organizational modus operandi for members to reconfigure capabilities and resources and capitalize on the opportunities arising therefrom.

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Nayak Chia Canales AMR Non cognitive microfoundations - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 2 January 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 January 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427450
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427450
ISSN: 0363-7425
PURE UUID: 7ebdc7a9-38cb-4bcf-b664-5e03d76f386c
ORCID for Ajit Nayak: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3253-7120

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Date deposited: 16 Jan 2019 17:30
Last modified: 02 Jan 2020 05:01

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