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Organizational Search, Capability Reconfiguration andCapability Reorientation: A Framework of Organizational Responses to Perceived Capability Gaps

Stephan Konlechner

Journal of Competences, Strategy & Management, 2017, vol. 9, 109-135

Abstract: Organizational decision-makers perceive capability gaps when they expect that organizational aspirations can no longer be achieved with an existing capability configuration. In this study I develop a framework for explaining the factors that influence the perception of and the reactions to such capability gaps. In particular, I argue that perception of capability gaps initiates organizational search processes that can trigger four different responses: capability renewal, capability replacement, capability redeployment, and capability replication. Capability replacement and renewal involve capability reconfiguration; capability redeployment and replication serve the purpose of capability reorientation. This study contributes to research on strategic change from a competence-based perspective by shifting attention from separate capabilities toward those particular mechanisms that enable firms to cope with technological change. In addition, this study integrates behavioral concepts with the dynamic capabilities perspective by putting forward the notion of aspirations as baseline to which decision-makers assess the usefulness of capability configurations and by analyzing the role of attention and slack as moderators of those search processes that follow the perception of capability gaps.

Keywords: dynamic capabilities; behavioral theory; capability gaps; organizational adaptation; organizational aspirations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L10 M10 O32 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Journal of Competences, Strategy & Management is currently edited by Prof. Dr. Klaus Bellmann, University of Mainz, Germany, Prof. Dr. Christoph Burmann, University of Bremen, Germany, Prof. Dr. Jörg Freiling, University of Bremen, Germany (Editor-in-Chief), Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Gemünden, Technical University of Berlin, Germany, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Güttel, University of Linz, Austria, Prof. Dr. Hans H. Hinterhuber, University of Innsbruck, Austria, Interim Prof. Dr. Sven M. Laudien, University of Magdeburg, Germany, Prof. Dr. Dietrich von der Oelsnitz, Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, Prof. Dr. Heike Proff, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, Prof. Dr. Christoph Rasche, University of Potsdam, Germany, Prof. Dr. Michael Stephan, University of Marburg, Germany and Prof. Dr. Erich Zahn, University of Stuttgart, Germany

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