The Development of Dynamic Capabilities in the Light of the External Environment and Path Dependence

Caroline Kretschmer


The aim of this study is to understand how the development of dynamic capabilities throughout the organizations' history occurs with the influences of the external context and the path dependence in this process. To this end, we sought to articulate the theoretical lens of dynamic capabilities with a focus on path dependence, as well as to combine the external context and its role in the articulation of dynamic capabilities. The study was conducted by analyzing the organizational trajectory and strategic behavior of two Brazilian Information Technology firms and the evolution and changes in the Information Technology sector. A qualitative study was performed; data were collected through semi-structured interviews and internal and external documents and analyzed through content analysis. The results support that the development and articulation of dynamic capabilities help in the construction of a path with strategic flexibility and aligned with the environmental changes. The study advances and complements knowledge in the theoretical lens of dynamic capabilities through the proposition of an analytical model. The model allows increasing the precision and definition in the analysis of dynamic capabilities, contributing to improving the current lack of consensus on the definition and measurement of these capabilities. Also, showing how they are manifested in practice.The article collaborates to expand the analysis of dynamic capabilities beyond the focus on the internal elements of organizations, as well as to show that the path dependence can be configured as a driver for evolution and the organizational competitive advantage.


Dynamic Capabilities; Path Dependence; Brazilian Software Industry and IT Services.

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