This article argues that the dynamic capabilities framework can be useful to study the evolutionary change processes that MNCs go through as they strive to innovate and adapt to societal pressures related to corporate sustainability. These pressures require MNCs to rethink and adapt core organizational elements and we argue that current dynamic capabilities theory is not sufficiently developed to explain these adaptive efforts. We suggest refining and extending theory in two directions: (1) distinguishing between behavioral, cognitive, and relational organizational elements as objects of the innovation, change, and learning dynamics; and (2) distinguishing between capabilities specific to generative variation and selection of innovative change and adaptation ideas from those specific to their diffusion and retention


Maurizio Zollo, Emanuele L. M. Bettinazzi, Kerstin Neumann, and Peter Snoeren. 2016. Toward a Comprehensive Model of Organizational Evolution: Dynamic Capabilities for Innovation and Adaptation of the Enterprise Model. Global Strategy Journal, 6(3): 225-244, first published 18 August 2016: