Second-order dynamic capabilities: How do they matter?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


Similar to the fairly well-established distinction between substantive capabilities and dynamic capabilities, a further distinction can be made between first-order dynamic capabilities (which have been the subject of much interest and debate over the past two decades) and second-order dynamic capabilities (which have received considerably less attention thus far). Based on a large-scale survey study in the context of strategic alliances, this paper empirically examines second-order dynamic capabilities in two ways. First, I find that, for the most part, the performance effect of second-order dynamic capabilities is indirect and mediated by first-order dynamic capabilities. Second, results show a negative interaction between first-and second-order dynamic capabilities, suggesting that they function as substitutes in affecting performance outcomes. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the interplay between levels of the dynamic capabilities hierarchy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-380
Number of pages13
JournalAcademy of Management Perspectives
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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