Rethinking dynamic capabilities from a creative action perspective

Donald MacLean, Robert MacIntosh, David Seidl

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    41 Citations (Scopus)


    Dynamic capabilities research aims to explain how firms manage to change in order to sustain their competitive advantage. Yet, despite considerable progress, dynamic capabilities theorizing struggles to capture novelty, which lies at the heart of change. We argue that this is caused by inherent limitations of the ways in which human action has been conceptualized: dynamic capabilities theorizing to date is based on rational or normative notions of actions, neither of which account for novelty in action. Hence, we propose that to overcome this impasse dynamic capabilities research needs to incorporate a concept of creative action into its theoretical apparatus. We elaborate on the positioning of creative action relative to existing dynamic capabilities theorizing and outline its implications for future dynamic capabilities research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)340-352
    Number of pages13
    JournalStrategic Organization
    Issue number4
    Early online date5 Jul 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


    • Capabilities
    • dynamic capabilities
    • organizational change
    • resource-based view
    • strategic change


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