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The role dynamic capabilities in building resilient small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

There are a growing number of disruptions faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). These disruptions originate from within the firms and from their surroundings on a day-today or intermittent basis.
Previous studies have explored the concept of resilience to overcome these disruptions, either on an individual or organisational level. However, such studies have resulted in different definitions for the phenomenon, especially at the organisational level. Although organisational resilience has been defined differently in previous studies, earlier studies have overlooked the perception of organisational resilience from the standpoint of the owner-managers of small and medium enterprises operating in the food and drink industry. In addition, studies explicitly exploring the relationship between organisational resilience and dynamic capabilities (sensing, seizing and reconfiguration) are relatively scarce.
Therefore, this study focused on exploring the perceptions of organisational resilience from the standpoint of the owner-managers of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in the food and drink industry. Also, dynamic capabilities play a role during the resilience process. This study adopted an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach, aimed at highlighting convergence and divergence in the owner-managers’ narratives obtained from semi-structured interviews and further identify patterns. This qualitative study demonstrates the presence of three perceptions of organisational resilience, (i.e. the process-based, endurance-based or resource-based perceptions) and provides evidence that highlights the role of dynamic capabilities during the resilience process (which is enacted by the owner-managers by responding through two distinct response patterns consistent with their cognitive abilities) to achieve a survival, stable or growth resilience outcome.
Original languageEnglish
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Award date2021

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