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

Nayak, A., Chia, R. and Canales, I. (2019) Non-cognitive microfoundations: understanding dynamic capabilities as idiosyncratically refined sensitivities and predispositions. Academy of Management Review, (doi:10.5465/amr.2016.0253) (Early Online Publication)

Nayak, A., Chia, R. and Canales, I. (2019) Non-cognitive microfoundations: understanding dynamic capabilities as idiosyncratically refined sensitivities and predispositions. Academy of Management Review, (doi:10.5465/amr.2016.0253) (Early Online Publication)

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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.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chia, Professor Robert
Authors: Nayak, A., Chia, R., and Canales, I.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Academy of Management Review
Publisher:Academy of Management
ISSN:0363-7425
ISSN (Online):1930-3807
Published Online:20 January 2019

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