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Adaption of incumbent firms to changing environments: a dynamic capability perspective

  • This publication-based dissertation examines the phenomenon of incumbent adaptation to changing environments with a dynamic capabilities perspective. Its core consists of four research papers that are self-contained and have been developed to be published in double-blind peer-reviewed academic journals. This intellectual body is framed with an introduction (Section 1) that introduces the current state of research on dynamic capabilities, summarizes the four research papers, and presents the current publication status of the work; the concluding Section 6 presents the overall contributions, limitations, and avenues for future research. The first research paper (Section 2) is a systematic literature review of empirical studies that identify idiosyncratic dynamic capabilities in practice. Its main finding is a taxonomy of dynamic capabilities that introduces 19 dynamic subcapabilities and connects them to existing conceptual literature. The second research paper (Section 3) is a longitudinal single case study of Axel Springer, a leading media corporation that has exercised dynamic capabilities to convert from a print publisher to an internet company. The study finds iterations, overlaps, and interconnections between sensing, seizing, and transforming. Based on the findings, a generalized conceptual model for dynamic capabilities in incumbent adaptation is constructed. For the third research paper (Section 4) an action research approach is applied to explore how managers’ mental models can engender erroneous resource cognition. The study discovers five cognitive biases that may distort resource cognition. The fourth research paper (Section 5) is a teaching case study building on the strategic challenge for Somedia, a Swiss media firm, to diversify from its declining legacy business by leveraging its resources and capabilities. This publication-based dissertation enhances the understanding of incumbent adaptation and presents applicable implications and recommendations for practitioners.

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Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Author:Niklaus Leemann
Referee:Dominik K. KanbachORCiD, Stephan Stubner
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Strategic Entrepreneurship
Full text/ URN:urn:nbn:de:bsz:14-qucosa2-791797
Place of publication:Leipzig
Year of Completion:2022
Page Number:V, 63
Date of final exam:2022/03/18
Tag:Dynamic-capabilities; Incumbent adaptation; Managerial cognition; Resource cognition; Resource-based view
Leemann, Niklaus ; Kanbach, Dominik K.: Toward a taxonomy of dynamic capabilities - a systematic literature review. Leemann, Niklaus ; Kanbach, Dominik K. ; Stubner, Stephan: Breaking the paradigm of sensing, seizing and transforming - evidence from Axel Springer. Leemann, Niklaus ; Kanbach, Dominik K.: Cognitive biases in resource cognition: Evidence from action research.
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International