Toward an action-based view of dynamic capabilities for international business

Shaker A. Zahra, Olga Petricevic, Yadong Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A growing body of research highlights the importance and development of dynamic capabilities as well as the contingencies that can affect such development. However, existing research pays limited attention to the demands of competition in today’s dynamic, volatile, and ambiguous international markets. The international business (IB) realities and contexts require companies to develop and effectively deploy dynamic capabilities to achieve evolutionary fitness, adapt, and successfully exploit opportunities (and neutralize threats) stemming from technological, social, geopolitical, institutional, and economic changes and interdependencies among various layers of embeddedness. Consequently, in this article, we discuss dynamic capabilities that tailor to the specifics of IB contexts, underscore their conceptual properties relevant for the IB realities, and articulate the processes involved in their building and leveraging by established and young MNEs. We further clarify the entrepreneurial foundations and actions essential for development and effective deployment of dynamic capabilities for IB. Finally, we offer our suggestions on how future IB research should explore these issues so as to make dynamic capabilities thinking actionable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-600
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Academy of International Business.


  • action-based view
  • de-globalization
  • dynamic capabilities
  • emerging-market MNEs
  • international business
  • international new ventures (INVs)
  • multinational enterprises (MNEs)


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