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Noncognitive microfoundations: understanding dynamic capabilities as idiosyncratically refined sensitivities and predispositions

Noncognitive microfoundations: understanding dynamic capabilities as idiosyncratically refined sensitivities and predispositions
Noncognitive 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. Scholars struggle to explain in cognitivist terms how such firm capabilities are acquired in the first instance. In this article we argue that a firm’s dynamic capabilities rest on 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 enable a firm to effectively respond by orienting its members toward 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 to capitalize on new opportunities.

0363-7425
280-303
Nayak, Ajit
215d7e25-0bc4-44ff-a015-5daf887604df
Chia, Robert
beca64f1-27dd-4d12-b18c-91bb044d92a9
Canales, J. Ignacio
a318e433-a9ac-4617-b789-fd5901ff9db2
Nayak, Ajit
215d7e25-0bc4-44ff-a015-5daf887604df
Chia, Robert
beca64f1-27dd-4d12-b18c-91bb044d92a9
Canales, J. Ignacio
a318e433-a9ac-4617-b789-fd5901ff9db2

Nayak, Ajit, Chia, Robert and Canales, J. Ignacio (2020) Noncognitive microfoundations: understanding dynamic capabilities as idiosyncratically refined sensitivities and predispositions. Academy of Management Review, 45 (2), 280-303. (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. Scholars struggle to explain in cognitivist terms how such firm capabilities are acquired in the first instance. In this article we argue that a firm’s dynamic capabilities rest on 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 enable a firm to effectively respond by orienting its members toward 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 to capitalize on new opportunities.

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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
Published date: April 2020

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: 29 Oct 2023 06:17

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Contributors

Author: Ajit Nayak ORCID iD
Author: Robert Chia
Author: J. Ignacio Canales

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