How Knowledge-intensive Organizations Thrive Under Dynamic Conditions: An Organizational Capability Perspective




Dynamic capabilities, knowledge-based view


Knowledge-intensive organizations primarily rely on knowledge and expertise as key strategic resources. In light of economic, social, and health-related crises in recent years, such organizations increasingly need to operate in dynamic environments. However, examinations on dynamic capabilities specifically in knowledge-intensive organizations remain scarce. This is remarkable given the role that knowledge holds as an economic resource in developed countries. To provide an explanation of how knowledge-intensive organizations can prevail among competitors under dynamic conditions, the authors integrate two literature streams in a knowledge-intensive context: the knowledge-based view and the dynamic capabilities approach. The knowledge-based view focuses on the nature of organizational knowledge as a critical resource and illustrates specific properties of knowledge in contrast to traditional means of labor such as capital. The dynamic capabilities approach on the other hand is about a firm's ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure internal and external resources and can be drawn on to explain organizational success through adaptation to dynamic contexts. In this conceptual study, the authors propose a research model linking knowledge processes to organizational performance through two different paths: (1) Operational capabilities permit organizations to make their living in the present and refer to efficiency. (2) Dynamic capabilities allow organizations to change their resource base and, therefore, enable their long-term survival in dynamic environments by focusing on effectiveness. Additionally, the authors hypothesize a moderating effect of environmental dynamics on the relationship between dynamic capabilities and performance. The study offers a comprehensive overview on the interplay between dynamic capabilities and the knowledge-based view, offering valuable insights for both researchers and practitioners in the field.