The organizational drivetrain: A road to integration of dynamic capabilities research


Academy of Management Perspectives

November 2014, vol. 28, n°4, pp.307-327

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy

Keywords: Dynamic capabilities, Bibliometrics, Development path, Resource-based, Organizational drivetrain, Dynamic bundles

Although the research domain of dynamic capabilities has become one of the most active in strategic management, critics have charged that it is plagued by confusion around the construct itself. In this paper, we uncover a potential reason for this confusion embedded in the unique nature of the construct's development path – a peculiarity that has led to split understandings of what constitutes a dynamic capability. We suggest a solution to this problem in the form of an illustrative metaphor – what we call the “organizational drivetrain”. Our drivetrain represents a theoretical model aimed at combining different views of the definition of dynamic capabilities by explaining how routines and simple rules interact. This shows that it is possible to advance the development of the framework by combining divergent understandings into a coherent whole. We conclude by offering specific recommendations for how to achieve a greater unity of understanding, and move the field even further forward