Applying the dynamic capabilities framework in the case of a large public construction client
Journal article, 2017
Public clients in the construction sector face a number of challenges in designing, procuring and managing major construction projects. The client’s role in bringing about project delivery has more recently been emphasized, particularly with respect to developing capabilities that facilitate the coordinating of projects through its different phases. In line with these developments, this paper sets out to examine the management of capabilities in a client organization through the lens of the dynamic capabilities framework. In particular, what is investigated is how the client organization senses, seizes and transforms opportunities. In pursuit of this objective, an exploratory case study approach is adopted which examines one of Sweden’s largest public client organizations. The study explores the concept of dynamic capabilities and its applicability to the public construction context. Although the usefulness of dynamic capabilities as an interpretive framework is recognized, it is suggested that the concept of dynamic capabilities is inadequate for addressing the specific context in which public client organizations operate. Particularly with respect to the project-based characteristic of these organizations and the difficulty in framing what constitutes “competitive advantage” for public organizations.