Workshop "Micro-foundations of Dynamic Capabilities"

Thematic issue in Management International

Workshop organized by the newPIC chair and KIMO Research group at UOC,
as part of the program of AIMS research group "Resources, Competences, and Dynamic Capabilities"

March 22+23, 2016, Paris, PSB campus


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Special issue in
Management International

This call for papers associates with the workshop organized as part of the activities of the AIMS research group "Resources, Competences, and Dynamic Capabilities".

The workshop was held in Paris, France,
in PSB (ex-PSB) premises,
on March 22-23 (Tue-Wed), 2016.


Co-editors of the special issue

  • Valérie MERINDOL, PSB / newPIC
  • David W. VERSAILLES, PSB / newPIC
  • Nicolai J. FOSS, Bocconi Univ
  • Agusti CANALS, UOC / KiMO



  • AIMS Workshop
    • 20-NOV-2015: Full paper submission
    • 25-JAN-2016: Notification to authors
    • 25-FEV-2016: Deadline for registration
    • 07-MAR-2016: Final papers submission
  • Preparation of the special issue
    • 09-MAY-2016: Revised papers submission to the editors of the spcial issue
  • Publication
    • 31-AUG-2019: Publication (online)
    • 30-SEP-2019: Publication (paper)


"Micro-foundations of
dynamic capabilities"



  • Microfoundations;
  • Dynamics capabilities;
  • Open innovation;
  • Ambidexterity;
  • (Strategic) Knowledge Management;
  • SMEs; Global firms;
  • Industry internationalization.


JEL codes

  • L22 (Firm organization),
  • M1 (Business administration),
  • O3 (Innovation),
  • F23 (Multinational firms),
  • D8 (Information & Knowledge)


Journal rankings

Cat.3 CNRS



The page has been updated after
the publication of the thematic issue.

26 contributions were presented over 2 days at the workshop,
followed by 15 articles and 1 position paper submitted to peer-review for the thematic issue.

The thematic issue has been published on August 31st, 2019, in volume 23 (nb 4).


Table of contents   

Management International, 23 (4)

  Introduction by the guest editors.
    Understanding dynamic capabilities: the microfoundations perspectives

Valerie MERINDOL (Paris School of Business, newPIC chair),
David W. VERSAILLES (Paris School of Business, newPIC chair),
Nicolai J. FOSS (Bocconi Univ., the Rodolfo DeBenedetti chair of Entrepreneurship),
and Agusti P. CANALS (Universidad Oberta de Catalunya, KIMO research group)

Management International, 23(4), pp 9-17 (in French, English, and Spanish)





  Unpacking the constituents of dynamic capabilities:
    a microfoundations perspective

David W. VERSAILLES (Paris School of Business, newPIC chair)
and Nicolai J. FOSS (Bocconi University,
the Rodolfo DeBenedetti chair of Entrepreneurship

Management International, 23(4), pp 18-29 (in English)

This position paper updates about methodological and epistemological issues on the micro-foundations perspective. We propose that conceptual divergences between the different streams of contributions to dynamic capabilities (DCs) research (the Eisenhardt versus Teece divide) hide discrepancies about methodological aspects, and about the locus of DCs. We zoom out from current epistemological debates about the microfoundations to explain the necessity of multi-level approaches, and to clarify the interpretation of the Boudon-Coleman “bathtub”. We elaborate on these aspects to explain how to enhance research on DCs, and more generally in strategic management. We discuss specific issues in relation with the selection of units of analysis and with the elaboration of field research protocols. We also propose practical recommendations adhering to the micro-foundations approach.

Keywords: Dynamic capabilities, Resource orchestration, Research heuristics, Microfoundations, Methodology of the social sciences, Situational analysis, Methodological individualism.

JEL classification: B25, B41, L2, M1, M21.

  Micro-variables of dynamic capabilities
    and how they come into effect:
    Exploring firm-specificity and cross-firm commonalities

Uta WILKENS (Ruhr-University Bochum, Institute of Work Science)
and Nicole SPRAFKE (Ruhr University Bochum,
Research Academy Ruhr
Management International, 23(4), pp 30-49 (in English)

This paper gives emphasis to four categories most relevant for microfoundations of dynamic ca-pabilities (DCs): (1) leadership behavior, (2) team interaction, (3) individual capabilities, and (4) job characteristics. We study whether micro-variables operate firm-specifically when constituting DCs and how they relate to one another. Data result from employee surveys (n = 486) conducted in five German organizations. The crossfirm comparison based on discriminant analyses reveals that micro-variables that constitute DCs often build firm-specific configurations in a broader set of variables. Only structural empowerment and team learning function as cross-firm commonali-ties. There is evidence to consider firm-specificity when explaining competitive advantages.

Keywords: microfoundations, individual capabilities, team interaction, leadership behavior, empowerment, commonalities, configuration

  Lien social et mircro-fondations
    de la capacité dynamique d'expérimentation:
    Les enseignements d'une étude de cas

Magali MALHERBE (Normandie University,
UniCaen, UniHavre, UniRouen, NIMEC
and Thomas LOILIER (Normandie University,
UniCaen, UniHavre, UniRouen, NIMEC
Management International, 23(4), pp 50-63 (in French)

This paper adresses the micro-foundations of a dynamic capability for experimentation implemented during collaborative innovation projects. We suggest a three-level conceptual framework. Inter-organizational exchanges following a gift/counter-gift logic allow the development of a social tie between individuals. Then, this social tie sustains the creation and the implementation of the dynamic capability for experimentation. Based on a case study in the field of ICT, our findings indicate that knowledged exchanges nurture gift cycles that act as the microfoundations of the dynamic capability, this latter encouraging in turn the exchanges.

Keywords: collaborative project, dynamic capability, knowledge exchanges, gift

  Spin-offs as microfoundations of
    dynamic capabilities in rapidly growing SME

Eric Michael LAVIOLETTE (TBS, Toulouse Business School)
Management International, 23(4), pp 64-82 (in English)

This paper analyzes how spin-offs can contribute to the micro foundations of dynamic capabilities in rapidly growing SMEs. Building on a multi-case study, three functions of spin-offs are analyzed at a supra level: boundary spanning to sense opportunities, flexible organizing to seize them and ambidextrous orchestration to reconfigure them. At an infra level, dynamic managerial foundations include a repertoire of cognitive, managerial and social skills that both the parent company owner-managers and the spin-off entrepreneurs share. However, they leverage those skills differently in terms of scope, speed and depth, thus complementing each other at different stages of the spin-off process.

Keywords: Micro foundations, Multi-case study, Dynamic Capabilities, Spin-offs, SME

  La capacite dynamique dans le cas exploratoire
    d’une community-based enterprise mexicaine:
    une analyse des micro-fondations

Elise MILANO-MAYAN (Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, GREDEG)
and Evelyne ROUBY (Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, GREDEG)
Management International, 23(4), pp 83-101 (in French)

This paper focuses on the microfoundations of dynamic capabilities. Based on an exploratory and abductive case study conducted in the context of a Mexican community-based enterprise, our research addresses microfoundations from the perspective of the CBE members’ involvement in sensing, seizing and transforming. More specifically, it identifies the cognitive and behavioral determinants of this involvement in relation to organizational structures, types of learning, and associated forms of leadership.

Keywords: dynamic capability, microfoundations, community-based enterprise

  Boundary objects as the missing link
    in the orchestration of resources:
    An exploratory study of Dassault Aviation
    Mirage IV and Rafale programs

David W. VERSAILLES (Paris School of Business, newPIC chair)
and Valerie MERINDOL (Paris School of Business, newPIC chair)
Management International, 23(4), pp 102-117 (in English)

In this contribution, we investigate the use of boundary objects (Star and Griesemer) for the orchestration of resources (Teece). We propose a comparative case study elaborating on two Dassault Aviation military fighters under an abductive approach. In this contribution, we elaborate on the microfoundations approach. Our contribution discusses several properties of boundary objects in relation with the orchestration of resources: type, granularity, openness, malleability, and completeness. We conclude that boundary objects are critical to orchestration. Their properties explain why they diversely impact on sensing, seizing and reconfiguring. They elaborate on knowledge articulation and teamwork, and require specific ways of working.

Keywords: Dynamic capabilities, orchestration of resources, knowledge, articulation, boundary objects, micro-foundations

  Review article

"The Future Ready Organization: how dynamic capacity management is reshaping the modern workspace », by Gyan Nagpal

reviewed by Valerie MERINDOL (Paris School of Business, newPIC chair)
Management International, 23(4), pp 189-190 (in French)










Milano Mayan




Comprehensive French- and English-speaking versions of the call here...
The call for papers issued for the workshop develops a large (yet not comprehensive overview) of the literature on the field of micro-foundations and dynamic capabilities.