Creative Search and Strategic Sense-Making: Missing Dimensions in the Concept of Dynamic Capabilities

14 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2009

See all articles by Krsto Pandza

Krsto Pandza

University of Leeds - Faculty of Business; University of Leeds - Division of Management

Richard Thorpe

Independent

Abstract

In this paper we discuss the role of managerial agency in creating and shaping dynamic capabilities. We argue that dynamic capability is a phenomenon that enables a deviation to take place from the knowledge that otherwise would have arisen cumulatively from experiential learning. In addition we argue that to create major changes in patterns of knowledge accumulation managers need to be purposefully and creatively engaged. Such agency is identifiable in two cognitive processes we call creative search and strategic sense-making. We show how these processes differ in respect to their temporal orientation and relationship to uncertainty and by adopting a process perspective we demonstrate how creative search, strategic sense-making and experiential learning are complementary. This notion of complementarity implies that these processes, notwithstanding their contrasting characteristics, coexist together and serve to offer an explanation for how knowledge progresses at a firm level. Variance is introduced into the framework proposed through the identification of factors that influence the coexistence of creative search and strategic sense-making. The argument developed is illustrated through the use of an emergent technology context.

Suggested Citation

Pandza, Krsto and Thorpe, Richard, Creative Search and Strategic Sense-Making: Missing Dimensions in the Concept of Dynamic Capabilities. British Journal of Management, Vol. 20, Issue s1, pp. S118-S131, March 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1375873 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8551.2008.00616.x

Krsto Pandza (Contact Author)

University of Leeds - Faculty of Business ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

University of Leeds - Division of Management ( email )

United Kingdom

Richard Thorpe

Independent

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