Dynamic Capacities in a Crisis Environment: A Comparative Analysis of Cases from the Retail and Clothing Retail Sector

Renata Barcelos, Daniel Paulino Teixeira Lopes, Carlos Alberto Gonçalves, Allan Claudius Queiroz Barbosa


Objective: Our objective was to explore evidence of the relevance of dynamic capabilities to the economic performance of companies and on the mediating role of the external environment in the relation between capabilities and performance in the context of the Brazilian political-economic crisis of 2015-2017.

Methodology: This was a comparative study of two cases of family companies of the same sector and stage, which have demonstrated opposite economic results. Structured questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were applied to a board member from each company.

Originality: Environmental dynamics and capabilities are discussed as fundamental elements to performance. The former has been discussed little in the field of strategy and the latter has been explored little in crisis contexts.

Main results: We demonstrated the complexity involved in research relating environment, capacities, and performance. The relevance of dynamic capabilities was evidenced, but corporate governance was demonstrated to be a fundamental element for the development of such capabilities. The idea of ​​environmental tolerance is raised in the face of long-term companies that have not developed some strategic capabilities over the years.

Theoretical contributions: The relevance of the external environment is highlighted in the studies of strategy. Furthermore, corporate governance is proposed as a fundamental area to be investigated in the context of dynamic capacities. The time factor between capabilities and performance is also highlighted. Path dependence and ordinary capacities are suggested as important elements for building a theory based on capabilities.


Dynamic Capabilities. Environmental Dynamics. Performance. Crisis. Comparative Analysis.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5585/riae.v17i4.2615


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