How do Firms Adapt? A Fuzzy-Set Analysis of the Role of Cognition and Capabilities in U.S. Defense Firms’ Responses to 9/11
Vergne, Jean-Philippe; Depeyre, Colette (2016), How do Firms Adapt? A Fuzzy-Set Analysis of the Role of Cognition and Capabilities in U.S. Defense Firms’ Responses to 9/11, Academy of Management Journal, 59, 5, p. 1653-1680. 10.5465/amj.2013.1222
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameAcademy of Management Journal
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Abstract (EN)How do firms adapt? In recent years, this old question has attracted new answers—albeit partial ones. On the one hand, cognition researchers have emphasized managerial attention to environmental change as a key driver of adaptation. On the other hand, dynamic capabilities scholars have underscored the role of asset reconfigurations implemented amid shifting environments. However, the explanatory powers of the two perspectives have not yet been assessed comparatively. This mixed methods study uses fuzzy-set analyses of defense firms’ responses to 9/11 to model the two perspectives as potentially competing or complementary, while our findings suggest that neither dynamic capabilities nor superior cognition must be present for firms to adapt. Instead, we identify four types of adapters (anticipative, responsive, opportunistic, and decisive), as well as the possibility of strategic non-adaptation. These results lead us to reassess the cognition and capabilities literatures and to outline a new, integrative framework to explain adaptation.
Subjects / KeywordsAdaptation; Asset reconfiguration; Attention; Capabilities; Cognition; Defense industry; QCA
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