Dynamic capabilities: evolving organisations in evolving (technological) systems
This paper aims at exploring the nature and the determinants of the dynamic capabilities of the firm: a notion which, while increasingly more fashionable, remains still conceptually diffuse. Through a critical review of the massive and heterogeneous literature which refers, either explicitly or implicitly, to dynamic capabilities in explaining the dynamic performances of the firm, the paper detects a certain gap between an organizational and an environmental kind of approach to the issue. The nature of the firm and that of the firm environment are in fact focused on alternatively, thus implying a dynamic capabilities analysis which turns out to be biased. The pros and the cons of a combined approach, which tries to integrate the two, are shown and contrasted to a more satisfactory approach, which deal with the firm as a system operating within an institutional setting of techno-economic relationships, i.e. a technological system.
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