Dynamic Capabilities and Ambidexterity: How are These Concepts Related?
Abstract The ambidexterity and dynamic capabilities (DCs) literature have contributed to strategic management discussions that seek to explain how firms achieve and sustain competitive advantages. However, few papers are devoted to understanding how they interrelate at Teece’s (2007) micro-foundations of sensing, seizing, and reconfiguring capabilities level. To fill these gaps, we investigate previous works on strategy and organization theories which discuss the ambidexterity-DCs relationship through a systematic literature review complemented by using a snowball technique and then propose a conceptual framework. Review of the literature that integrates the two approaches shows that authors usually understand ambidexterity as a DC. Also, our framework reveals convergent elements between the two kinds of literature, such as learning; sources of information; organizational design; management of scarce resources; increase of resources through outsourcing and alliances; the role of top managers and teams’ participation in decisions; and the relevance of asset specialization and organizational governance. This article aims to contribute to the literature by synthesizing early work relating ambidexterity and DCs; proposing a conceptual framework based on DCs’ micro-foundations; and identifying avenues for future research.