The dynamic capabilities of public construction clients in the healthcare sector
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020

Purpose: Previous research within the dynamic capabilities literature has primarily targeted the strategic innovation of technology firms and significantly less interest has been given to project-based organizations that operate in the construction sector. A recent study by Davies and Brady (2016) places the dynamic capabilities concept in a project-based context, drawing upon research on dynamic capabilities and organizational ambidexterity. The purpose of this paper is to apply the aforementioned framework in a case involving public construction clients with the aim of examining their approaches for maintaining or developing project capabilities depending on the volatility of the environment. Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on a case study of a decentralized association of 16 healthcare client organizations in Swedish counties, which was compared to a centralized unit for healthcare planning and construction in Norway. In total, 19 interviews were conducted, alongside two workshops and a feedback questionnaire. Findings: The interviewees emphasized the lack of adequate support to handle the increasingly more complex projects. Results indicate the need for a more segmented approach for understanding how dynamic capabilities are managed in client organizations based not merely on the level of stability in the environment, but also taking into account the resources that are utilized. It is further argued that there is a need for a more granular research approach to studying the development of capabilities in a case-based setting, an approach that more specifically links the development of dynamic capabilities with their relevant antecedent activities. Originality/value: The study sheds light on how the various approaches for maintaining/developing project capabilities available to the public sector construction client depend on the volatility of the environment and the resources they require.

Client-side project management

Construction sector

Case study

Dynamic capabilities

Public sector


Abderisak Adam

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Construction Management

Göran Lindahl

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Byggnadsdesign

Roine Leiringer

The University of Hong Kong

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

17538378 (ISSN) 17538386 (eISSN)

Vol. 13 1 153-171


Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi





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