Session Details: Session 1045

Capabilities and Governance

Track A

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Time: 14:30 – 15:45


Room: Salon 22

Session Chair:
Joerg Freiling, University of Bremen

Title: Experiential Knowledge, Operational Capabilities and Competitive Advantage: Logistics and Strategy in Two Retail Companies


  • Per Åman, Linköping University
  • Erik Sandberg, Linköping University

Abstract: This article explores the relationship between operational capabilities and sustainable competitive advantage by using the notion of experiential knowledge. It is argued that through a sequence of learning mechanisms, dynamic capabilities can be gained. The dynamic capabilities are needed in order to create, develop and maintain operational capabilities that are the source for a company’s sustainable competitive advantage. As an empirical basis for the study two best practice companies within logistics and supply chain management are presented. The results show that the learning process gives the foundation for dynamic capabilities, that in turn enables the operational capabilities to be changed.

Title: How Firms Develop the Capability to Manage a Portfolio of Alliances: The Coevolution of Structures and Processes


  • Werner Hoffmann, WU-Vienna

Abstract: We present the results of a qualitative study that aims at identifying the specific premises of multi-alliance management capability and at analyzing how this capability is built-up over time. The study contributes to existing research by (a) identifying drivers and manifestations of multi-alliance management capability, (b) highlighting the internal processes and organizational structures by which multi-alliance management capability is developed and replicated and (c) identifying developmental paths and patterns how important contextual factors, alliance management institutionalization and alliance management capability coevolve over time. Our findings underscore that portfolio management requires specific capabilities that go well beyond knowing how to manage individual alliances and that alliance management infrastructures are both enabler (and constraints) of the alliance capability building process and the outcome of this development process.

Title: Organizational Culture and the Knowledge-Based Competence Building Process: The Firm’s 'Raison d’Etre'


  • Hanno Fichtner, University of Bremen
  • Joerg Freiling, University of Bremen

Abstract: When explaining the existence and the very nature of the firm, researchers typically refer to New Institutional Economics. However, this question can also be addressed by analyzing the internal dimensions of a firm. When using resource-based reasoning, the Competence-based Theory of the Firm in particular deals with the nature of the firm. In this respect, firms differ from alternative institutions by a specific ambiance they offer. One important element that makes up the ambiance is organizational culture. It influences several firm processes. In this conceptual paper we analyze the effects of organizational culture on competence building and emphasize the role of specific learning processes. By referring to a particular model, we argue that organizational culture is vital to activate the potential a firm offers.

Title: Outsourcing Knowledge-Based Services: The Dynamics of Capabilities and Governance


  • Deepak Somaya, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Kyle J. Mayer, University of Southern California
  • Ian Williamson, University of Melbourne

Abstract: This paper takes a fresh look at the question of when firms outsource knowledge-based activities to external suppliers. While previous studies have proposed and tested governance and capability-based explanations for outsourcing, we advance the literature by examining how capabilities and governance costs change dynamically, particularly in knowledge-based work. We hypothesize that governance costs and domain-specific knowledge capabilities are path dependent, and furthermore that specialized external suppliers may accumulate systematic expertise-based capability advantages over internal production. We find support for these hypotheses in the patent legal industry; however, our work has implications for knowledge-based services more broadly.

All Sessions in Track A...

Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1036: Knowledge and Learning
Mon: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 1041: Knowledge, Collaboration, and Performance
Session 1061: Inter-Organizational Knowledge Transfer
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 1040: Knowledge Transfer and Diffusion
Session 1042: Capabilities, Value Creation, and Performance
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1035: Strategic Dynamics in Industry Architectures: The Challenges of Knowledge Integration
Session 1055: Governing Knowledge in Interorganizational Relationships
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 1039: Knowledge and Governance
Session 1045: Capabilities and Governance
Session 1056: Discussing Approaches on How Knowledge Matters in Organizations
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1038: Knowledge and Networks
Session 1057: Knowledge as a Driver of Innovation, Learning and Competence-Building
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 1044: Technology and Performance
Session 1046: Knowledge Across Boundaries
Session 1058: Knowledge Strategies: Collaboration and Governance

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference