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Plenary Session 3: Making Dynamic Capabilities Actionable in Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management Research

Sunday, June 4, 11:30-13:00

In this session, Shaker Zahra will initiate the conversation with his keynote address on the use of dynamic capabilities concepts in the literatures on entrepreneurship and strategic management. Many scholars view the dynamic capabilities perspective as difficult to operationalize in empirical research, whereas this perspective is actually applied systematically by the leading strategic-management consulting firms, in their advisory work for the world’s largest companies. Professor Zahra will explore how the gap between state-of-the-art empirical research and managerial practice can be bridged. He will advance an agenda for making dynamic capabilities concepts actionable when used by entrepreneurship and strategic management scholars.

Mary Crossan will discuss how contemporary thinking on leadership, improvisation (‘where planning meets opportunity’) and organizational learning could enrich the dynamic capabilities research agenda, and how such an extended research agenda could be operationalized in empirical work.

Robert Hoskisson will focus on the paradox of context dependency of dynamic capabilities, and the implications thereof for empirical research.  On the one hand, dynamic capabilities are supposed to be driven by superior entrepreneurial judgment and adaptation capacity that permit overcoming any challenges brought about by the changing environment.  On the other hand, dynamic capabilities must, by necessity, be embedded in the firm’s own evolutionary path, and are therefore subject to the forces of environmental determinism.

Maurizio Zollo will assess the links between dynamic capabilities and the much-studied concepts of deliberate learning and routines.  How can one assess empirically the linkages between deliberate learning and dynamic capabilities? How can one measure in empirical studies, whether routines and dynamic capabilities are complements or substitutes?

Alain Verbeke will provide his personal assessment of the potential value added of the many suggestions by the keynote speakers that could further improve empirical work on dynamic capabilities.

Chair

picture of Alain Verbeke
Alain Verbeke
University of Calgary

Plenary Speakers

picture of Mary Crossan
Mary Crossan
Western University
picture of Robert Hoskisson
Robert Hoskisson
Rice University
picture of Shaker Zahra
Shaker Zahra
University of Minnesota
picture of Maurizio Zollo
Maurizio Zollo
Bocconi University