Kevill, Alex, Trehan, Kiran and Easterby-Smith, Mark (2014) Gazing at my Reflection: Owner-Managerial Self-Concept and Dynamic Capabilities. In: Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship 2014 Conference, 5th - 6th November 2014, Manchester. (Unpublished)

Objectives: Our study investigates dynamic capabilities in micro-organizations and in this paper we particularly focus upon understanding the links between entrepreneurial learning and dynamic capabilities in such organizations.

Prior Work: Although there are a small number of empirical studies into dynamic capabilities in which microorganizations form at least part of the research context, such research remains rare. This is despite the potential theoretical and empirical insights that could be realised from such research. Dynamic capabilities can also benefit organizational performance (Helfat et al, 2007), and therefore, better understanding of dynamic capabilities in micro-organizations could benefit practitioners in such organizations.

Approach: We look to gain understanding of dynamic capabilities in three micro-organizations based in the United Kingdom by adopting a qualitative research approach. We utilize narrative interviewing, unstructured interviewing, and qualitative shadowing. In particular, data drawn from eleven interviews with owner-managers of the three organizations inform the findings presented within this paper.

Results: The analysis of the data illuminates that the self-concept of owner-managers, which can result from their entrepreneurial learning, can be a key micro-foundation of dynamic capabilities in the organizations studied. Interestingly, our findings also suggest that in some cases part of the owner-manager’s self-concept can also be an outcome of entrepreneurial learning stemming from the owner-manager’s experience of the enactment of dynamic capabilities.

Implications: The links between dynamic capabilities and self-concept highlighted within this paper offer new contributions to dynamic capabilities literature. These findings advance our understanding of dynamic capabilities in the micro-organization context by shedding light on how the entrepreneurial learning and self-concept of owner-managers can link to the development of micro-organizations.

Value: Not only do our findings advance our theoretical understanding of dynamic capabilities and how they relate to entrepreneurial learning, but they could also inform policy and practice aimed at the development and enactment of dynamic capabilities in micro-organizations.

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