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Capability development in startup and mature enterprises

Hongjia Ma (School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun, China)
Chunting Lang (School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun, China)
Qing Sun (School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun, China)
Deeksha Singh (School of Business, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 27 October 2020

Issue publication date: 2 July 2021

682

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to review the literature of enterprise capability, which comprises the three dimensions of operational, dynamic and improvisational capabilities, and analyze their differences. Through this review, the authors aim to enrich the enterprise capability theory and provide some directions for entrepreneurial practice in the face of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA).

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a systematic review of the literature on enterprise capability as it relates to entrepreneurial firms, following the content analysis approach as described in Gaur and Kumar (2018).

Findings

The authors’ conceptual model compares the capability levels of startups and mature enterprises and presents a model for the dynamic evolution of the capability levels of enterprises. In doing so, this study enriches the enterprise capability theory and lays the theoretical foundation for the follow-up empirical research. The authors also provide guidance for entrepreneurial practice in the face of VUCA.

Originality/value

In recent years, scholars have begun to explore the issue of enterprise capability in the field of entrepreneurship. However, because of different research perspectives, one lacks clarity on the concept and dimensions of enterprise capability. The capability theory is relatively weak in guiding the practice of enterprises; enterprises lack effective response strategies in a changing environment, and the failure rate of startups is high. This study aims to develop a deeper understanding of enterprise capability.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71972084, 71672072).

Citation

Ma, H., Lang, C., Sun, Q. and Singh, D. (2021), "Capability development in startup and mature enterprises", Management Decision, Vol. 59 No. 6, pp. 1442-1461. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-03-2020-0313

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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