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When do Dynamic Capabilities Lead to Competitive Advantage? The Importance of Strategic Fit

Stav Fainshmidt, Lucas Wenger, Amir Pezeshkan and Mark R. Mallon

Journal of Management Studies, 2019, vol. 56, issue 4, 758-787

Abstract: Recent studies suggest the relationship between dynamic capabilities and competitive advantage may be jointly affected by organizational and environmental factors. We enrich this nascent perspective by developing a configurational theoretical framework – underpinned by the mechanism of strategic fit – wherein dynamic capabilities lead to a competitive advantage when they support a strategic orientation appropriate for the levels of dynamism and munificence in the environment. Results of a fuzzy‐set Qualitative Comparative Analysis using primary data show that dynamic capabilities lead to a competitive advantage in dynamic, munificent environments by enabling the combination of differentiation and low‐cost orientations. In stable, non‐munificent environments, dynamic capabilities are effective in support of a low‐cost orientation. The central insight of this study is that the relationship between dynamic capabilities and competitive advantage is contingent upon the strategic fit between organizational and environmental factors, contributing to a more rigorous and configurational dynamic capabilities view.

Date: 2019
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