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Dynamic capabilities, human resources and operating routines: A new product development approach

Vanesa Barrales-Molina (Department of Management, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)
Francisco Javier Llorens Montes (Department of Management, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain)
Leopoldo J Gutierrez-Gutierrez (Department of Management, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 14 September 2015



The purpose of this paper is to explain the outcomes and role of dynamic capabilities (DCs). To explain the outcomes, the authors study the relationship between new product development (NPD) (an example of DCs) and metaflexibility. To explain the role of DCs, the authors study how human resources and operating routines moderate the role of DCs in achieving adaptation in the firm.


Using data from 200 managers of Spanish firms, the authors apply regression analysis to test the moderating role of human resources and operating routines in the relationship between NPD and metaflexibility.


The results demonstrate that highly qualified and committed workers enhance the effectiveness of NPD, while high frequency in repetition of operating routines significantly damages such effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to analysing a unique DC (NPD), but future research could explore contributions on other consolidated DCs (e.g. alliance management capability) and compare results. Also, the database on managerial perceptions rather than objective measures.

Practical implications

Managers who must address environmental changes should connect generation of DCs to complementary functional strategies, especially human resources strategy.


This paper suggests additional outcomes derived from DCs, such as metaflexibility. It attempts to understand the complex process by which DCs interact to modify operating routines in order to respond to environmental changes.



This research was sponsored by the European Regional Development Fund (European Union), the Spanish Government (Research Projects ECO2010-15885 and ECO2013-47027-P), and Junta de Andalucía (Research Project P11-SEJ-7294).


Barrales-Molina, V., Montes, F.J.L. and Gutierrez-Gutierrez, L.J. (2015), "Dynamic capabilities, human resources and operating routines: A new product development approach", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 115 No. 8, pp. 1388-1411.



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