Date of Award

Spring 5-3-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Balasubramaniam Ramesh, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lars Mathiassen, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Wesley Johnston, Ph.D.


In turbulent environments where the competitive landscape is shifting and uncertain, the dynamic capabilities by which firm manager’s, integrate, build, and reconfigure internal and external competences becomes the source of sustained competitive advantage. As they attempt to reconfigure their organizational competencies, firms are turning to Information Technology (IT) resources as an enabling resource. While the importance of dynamic capabilities has been widely recognized, in today’s fast paced and ever changing business landscape, the need for improvisational capabilities has also been underscored. Whereas dynamic capabilities refer to the ability to respond to change through “planned” reconfiguration in moderately turbulent times, improvisational capabilities refer to the ability to respond to change through “spontaneous” reconfiguration in highly turbulent times. This study begins to defragment dynamic and improvisational capability literature and demonstrate the need for these two complementary capabilities. This study also develops and offers an initial prescription for executing these complementary capabilities. This study highlights the significant differences in the execution of dynamic and improvisational capabilities at the sub-routine level. Lastly, this study offers valuable insight into how IT can enable both dynamic and improvisational capabilities.