Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

12-2008

Abstract

Studies invoking a capabilities lens often ascribe deliberateness in organizational decisions to develop new capabilities. Drawing on five longitudinal case studies of large, global firms in the information and communication technology sector, we examine how firms engender cognizance of their future capability needs in situations characterized by high decision-making uncertainty. We develop a theoretical account of how firms use investments in start-ups to actively engage in experimentation outside organizational boundaries, a learning process which we term as disembodied experimentation. Disembodied experimentation creates awareness of voids in the capability base of an incumbent and helps to overcome inertial restraints thereby influencing the decision to invest in capability development. The relationship between learning from disembodied experimentation and the decision to develop capabilities is moderated by knowledge brokering functions and adaptation complexity.

Discipline

Business | Human Resources Management | Strategic Management Policy

Research Areas

Strategy and Organisation

Publication

Journal of Management Studies

Volume

45

Issue

8

First Page

1475

Last Page

1505

ISSN

0022-2380

Identifier

10.1111/j.1467-6486.2008.00806.x

Publisher

Wiley

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2008.00806.x

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