5th Charles Cooper memorial lecture: Dynamic Capability - The Concept and How It Helps Us Understand Economic Change

Sidney G. Winter, Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management, Emeritus, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Dynamic capability is a concept that arose from the field of Strategic Management, or “strategy”, an academic field largely practised in business schools. It emerged in the quest to understand the basis of “sustainable competitive advantage”. In other words:

How can a business make money and keep doing so for a long time?
How can advantage be sustainable in the face of continuing change?

Dynamic capability is offered as an answer to these questions. By virtue of its relevance to the phenomena of economic development in a market system, dynamic capability is a concept that should be of interest to related fields, particularly innovation studies, the economics of growth and development, and organization studies.

Academic specialization has hindered the development of fruitful cross-field collaboration centred on dynamic capability. The counter-force to that tendency comes from evolutionary economics, which speaks with one voice to these different fields – although that one voice tends to be heard in different and field-specific ways.

This lecture will explain the concept and the fundamental questions about change that it presents. It seeks to strengthen the bridges from Strategic Management to the related fields, starting from the business end of those bridges. Incidental to that, it addresses the question of how investment in dynamic capability affects business profitability.

Overall, the lecture argues that dynamic capability, appropriately handled, is actually transformative of our understanding of economic change.

About the speaker
Sidney Graham Winter (born 1935, Iowa City, Iowa) is a US economist and professor emeritus of management and technological change at the University of Pennsylvania. He is one of the leading figures in the revival of evolutionary economics and has published various papers together with Richard R. Nelson. Winter was Chief Economist of the U.S. General Accounting Office between 1989 and 1993 and is Vice President of the International J.A. Schumpeter Society since 2005.

Venue: Keizer Karelplein 19, Maastricht

Date: 06 November 2013

Time: 16:00 - 17:30


UNU-MERIT