Commonalities and specificities of dynamic capabilities: a mixed methods study of UK high-tech SMEs

Chaminda Senaratne*, Catherine L. Wang, Meera Sarma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


This study aims to examine the commonalities of dynamic capabilities (DCs) across firms and identify their idiosyncratic practices within firms – an under-researched area within the strategic management and related innovation management literature. Although the existing research has attempted to identify commonalities of DCs across firms, there is hardly any research on specific practices within firms identified under those commonalities. We address this critical research problem to understand how firms can develop and deploy idiosyncratic practices of DCs but also align such firm-specific practices with common best practices of DCs across firms. Based on a mixed methods study, we first conceptualize and empirically examine the commonalities of DCs across firms using quantitative survey data from 113 UK high-tech SMEs. This is followed by identifying specificities of developing and applying DCs within firms based on qualitative interview data from 20 UK high-tech SMEs. Our findings reveal that the commonalities of DCs are manifested in two components: absorptive capability and transformative capability, and that these two capabilities are embedded in specific practices within firms. Therefore, this study contributes to the understanding of how DCs are developed and deployed in the specific context of firms but also aligned with ‘best practices’ of DCs across firms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-754
Number of pages20
JournalR&D Management
Issue number4
Early online date9 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


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