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Strategic capabilities and their relationship to organisational success and its measures: Some pointers from five Australian studies

Alan Simon (University of Western Australia Business School (M261), Perth, Australia)
Vanya Kumar (Commercial Roads, VicRoads, Kew, Australia)
Peter Schoeman (Oracle Consulting Services, Brisbane, Australia)
Pirrie Moffat (Freehills Law Firm, Perth, Australia)
Damien Power (Department of Management, Melbourne University, Melbourne, Australia)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 6 September 2011




The purpose of this paper is to determine the strategic capabilities that are related to success in five disparate Australian industries.


Five studies were conducted using a generative multi‐stage research approach in order to determine the capabilities that are related to success in the management consulting, advertising and IT industries, legal profession and top 500 listed companies.


There is a clear commonality of capabilities across all studies. These are quality of service, particularly customer service; good leadership and vision, which encourages innovation and creativity; selection and retention of excellent staff with good technical skills; credibility, integrity and honesty; excellent differentiated product(s) or service(s); and adaptability and flexibility. In general the capabilities were significantly related to the organisational success measures.

Research limitations/implications

The study could be extended to other Australian and international industries.


Organisations that develop and implement resources to be proficient in all these capabilities should achieve increased success measured by a mix of hard and soft performance indicators. Our study is differentiated because the drivers and, indeed the indicators, of success have been proffered by executives themselves (not just the literature), who were located in disparate industries. Their views are deemed important because Australia's economy emerged relatively unscathed from the global financial economy and avoided a recession.



Simon, A., Kumar, V., Schoeman, P., Moffat, P. and Power, D. (2011), "Strategic capabilities and their relationship to organisational success and its measures: Some pointers from five Australian studies", Management Decision, Vol. 49 No. 8, pp. 1305-1326.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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