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Title: The implications of dynamic capabilities for organisational growth and competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises : an empirical study
Author: Roohanifar , Mohammad
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 3735
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
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Growth is of great importance to long-term survival and competitive advantage of the firm. Yet despite decades of firm growth research, there is little agreement on how firms grow over time. This is partly because firm growth is a multidimensional and complex phenomenon and there is still not much of a common body of well-founded knowledge about the causes, effects or processes of growth. With more than 99 percent of all firms being small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, growth of these firms is significant to the economy. In particular, how these firms survive and grow when facing challenges from changing external environment is an important but an under-researched area. Emerging from the strategy literature, the dynamic capability view of the firm is the ability to reconfigure resources and competences as a response to the changes from the external environment, contributing to the growth and competitive advantage of the firm. How and to what extent different dynamic capabilities provide firms with competitive advantage is a major debate within the strategy literature. One of the more recent arguments on dynamic capabilities is that they provide firms with competitive advantage by contributing to the growth of the firm. This thesis aims to investigate how SMEs achieve growth and if dynamic capabilities contribute to growth of firms. The study finds that major explanations of growth of SMEs during external uncertainty are organisational ambidexterity; diversification; dynamic managerial capabilities; and Penrose’s theory. In particular, the study finds that dynamic capabilities construct does not advance our understanding of the growth process beyond already established concepts such as Penrose’s theory. The work of Edith Penrose offers a rich and thoughtful explanation of how firms achieve and maintain growth when faced with external challenges. This thesis makes an original contribution to the existing body of knowledge in four ways. Firstly, it explores how SMEs achieve and maintain their growth during the periods of external uncertainty. Secondly, it empirically tests if dynamic capabilities construct is an explanation of growth in SME context. Thirdly, it responds to calls for more empirical and qualitative research on dynamic capabilities. Fourthly, it assesses the much-debated relationship between dynamic capabilities and competitive advantage and offers some useful insights on this link.
Supervisor: Cannon, Tom Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available