From core rigidities to dynamic capabilities: the role of external knowledge. A multiple case study

Carli, Giacomo (2012) From core rigidities to dynamic capabilities: the role of external knowledge. A multiple case study , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Direzione aziendale, 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/4661.
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This study focuses on the processes of change that firms undertake to overcome conditions of organizational rigidity and develop new dynamic capabilities, thanks to the contribution of external knowledge. When external contingencies highlight firms’ core rigidities, external actors can intervene in change projects, providing new competences to firms’ managers. Knowledge transfer and organizational learning processes can lead to the development of new dynamic capabilities. Existing literature does not completely explain how these processes develop and how external knowledge providers, as management consultants, influence them. Dynamic capabilities literature has become very rich in the last years; however, the models that explain how dynamic capabilities evolve are not particularly investigated. Adopting a qualitative approach, this research proposes four relevant case studies in which external actors introduce new knowledge within organizations, activating processes of change. Each case study consists of a management consulting project. Data are collected through in-depth interviews with consultants and managers. A large amount of documents supports evidences from interviews. A narrative approach is adopted to account for change processes and a synthetic approach is proposed to compare case studies along relevant dimensions. This study presents a model of capabilities evolution, supported by empirical evidence, to explain how external knowledge intervenes in capabilities evolution processes: first, external actors solve gaps between environmental demands and firms’ capabilities, changing organizational structures and routines; second, a knowledge transfer between consultants and managers leads to the creation of new ordinary capabilities; third, managers can develop new dynamic capabilities through a deliberate learning process that internalizes new tacit knowledge from consultants. After the end of the consulting project, two elements can influence the deliberate learning process: new external contingencies and changes in the perceptions about external actors.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Carli, Giacomo
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze economiche e statistiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
dynamic capabilities, organizational learning, management consulting, organizational change
Data di discussione
20 Giugno 2012

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