Environmental dynamism, innovation, and dynamic capabilities: The case of China

Hao Jiao, Ilan Alon, Yu Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Purpose: Based on the resource-based view, creating and maintaining a long-term competitive advantage requires significant attention to developing and nurturing dynamic capabilities in emerging markets. With increasing research attention given to the dynamic capabilities view, the need to explore the building mechanism has continued to escalate. This study aims to consider environmental dynamism as a moderating variable, to build a theoretical model for innovation strategy and dynamic capabilities, and finally to summarize the building mechanism for dynamic capabilities. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 400 high-tech and knowledge intensive and other kind business firms in Yantz River Delta region in China were approached. In total, 158 responses were received, of which 110 were usable. To check for possible response bias, early and late respondents were compared and no response bias was found in the study. Findings: The empirical results find that the coefficient for innovation strategy is positive and significant for dynamic capabilities. However, it also finds that the interaction term between innovation strategy and environmental dynamism is not significant in predicting dynamic capabilities. Therefore, an innovation strategy can build and upgrade dynamic capabilities in both stable and rapidly changing environments. Originality/value: An empirical verification of the links between innovation strategy and dynamic capabilities is conducted, and the role of environmental dynamism on innovation strategy and dynamic capabilities in the context of an emerging market is also examined, which there is a lack of in the current literature. This study provides implications for both government and entrepreneurs in finding the right way to build dynamic capabilities through employing innovation strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-144
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Enterprising Communities
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Competitive advantage
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Flexible organisations
  • Innovation


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