A complexity perspective of dynamic capabilities in enterprise project organizations

Ian Robson, Udechukwu Ojiako (Lead / Corresponding author), Stuart Maguire

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    4 Citations (Scopus)
    65 Downloads (Pure)


    Driven by the inherent tensions that exist within the ‘sense’, ‘seize’, ‘shift’, and ‘liaise’ paradigm of dynamic capabilities, we set out in this study to explore the interstices that exist between two key theoretical traditions—‘Complexity’ and ‘Dynamic capabilities’. We frame the study in the context of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), particularly Micro Enterprises operating in the UK construction industry. Emergent themes were gleaned from the interview of 21 construction enterprise owner-managers based in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Findings suggest not only that SME owner-managers operating within the construction sector interpret their own role as pivotal to the success of the firm and that they assumed responsibility for identifying opportunities and operational threats to the business, but also that aspects of complexity were at play in the thinking and action implied by owner-managers when dealing with both internal and external tensions. Our main contribution is to propose a capabilities framework framed within a complexity lens that enhances the explanatory power of dynamic capabilities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages25
    JournalProduction Planning and Control
    Early online date26 Sept 2022
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Sept 2022


    • Complexity
    • dynamic capabilities
    • adaptive tension
    • SME
    • owner-manager


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