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  • Author: Brian Harney x
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Abstract

This paper provides a conceptual overview of the microfoundations of dynamic capabilities for innovation. A critical evaluation of dynamic capabilities theory highlights its contested nature and significant limitations in its application. Notably, there is little understanding of the mechanisms determining the origin and evolution of dynamic capabilities, while the role of employees has been neglected. In an effort to address this deficiency, the paper draws on literature from HRM and innovation management to trace the microfoundations of dynamic capabilities for innovation. This highlights the importance of incorporating the perspectives and motivation of employees as a central part of analysis and as a basis for more direct managerial interventions in building capabilities.

Abstract

Relative to the overall population of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), high-growth SMEs (HGSMEs) make a disproportionate contribution to economic growth. While research has identified factors that characterise HGSMEs, it is yet to provide a comprehensive explanation of the growth process. The purpose of the study is to identify specific growth events and examine how HGSMEs successfully transition through these periods in terms of operational (i.e. management systems and practices), structural, and strategic changes. Drawing from a descriptive profiling of Irish HGSMEs, four indepth case studies are presented. Analysis suggests a complex relationship between structure and growth, illuminating how HGSMEs experience trigger points that create a momentum of growth, which in turn mandates a supportive infrastructure.