Dynamic capabilities analysis and the M & A process in the steel industry : a managerial perspective

Gregory Ludwig*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


This research seeks to provide a robust framework for dynamic capability building processes in the steel industry. These specific multifaceted routines represent the single-case main unit of analysis for the study. The existing body of knowledge within the Dynamic Capabilities View (DCV) assumes risk minimisation via establishment of extensive monitoring activities of external changes in combination with capability optimisation through renewal efforts. Using multiple sources of evidence such as semi-structured interviews with Russian senior managers based in the international steel sector and internal management reports, these main DCV principles were challenged and modified through particular industry application. Within the steel sector both dynamisms and complexity of the exercise mainly derive from internal factors rather than external changes. Furthermore, a key finding was identification of practical obstacles to dynamic capability building associated with the rather negative role of industry-specific path dependencies, questioning the appropriateness of focus on renewal aspects as emphasised in more traditional literature. The major contribution of the thesis is the development of a tentative framework for fluctuation control of resource value, impact of exogenous dynamics in combination with determination of contemporary valid time frames for future forecast. The presented framework outlines stumbling blocks to and major phases of routine development activities. Awareness of these factors may increase timely and full exploitation of available resource material and guide managerial establishment of respective capability practices. Additionally, the suggested process emphasises a clear distinction between quasi-static and dynamic elements within the overall building exercise. A further contribution concerns the role of mergers and acquisition (M&A) for the DCV. Affected by the requirement of rapid decision making and strategic responses to continuous flux, the importance of M&A for the process needs to be regarded as relatively low — mainly due to decreased flexibility and the long term integration approaches required for implementation of this particular method of external growth. The study concludes that, logically, the purpose of dynamic capabilities is not aimed at generation of competitive advantage but rather assistance with organisational survival within certain contexts.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Northumbria University
  • Pemberton, Jon, Supervisor, External person
  • Purdie, Tony, Supervisor
Award date20 Jan 2009
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne
Publication statusUnpublished - 20 Jan 2009


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