Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-m9kch Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-26T16:34:21.869Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

A critical review of status quo and future directions of owner dynamic capabilities: Dimensions and key factors

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 October 2023

Zidan Tian
School of Economics and Management, Research Institute of Complex Engineer & Management, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
Ting Wang*
College of Urban Construction and Safety Engineering, Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai, China
Qinghua He
School of Economics and Management, Research Institute of Complex Engineer & Management, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
Corresponding author: Ting Wang; Email:


Existing studies agree that owner dynamic capabilities are crucial in dynamic environments. Based on a systematic literature review of 44 research with CiteSpace and the content analysis method, this study aims to elucidate the dimensions and key factors of owner dynamic capabilities. Owner dynamic capabilities are studied in the context of a construction project due to their resource-constrained, goal-urgent, and uncertainty characteristics. Cognition capabilities, resilient change management capabilities, integrated organization capabilities, and strategic innovation capabilities are identified as the dimensions. Critical factors have also been analyzed at different levels. This study proposes a discriminatory framework of owner dynamic capabilities that combined organizational ambidexterity and resilience. Moreover, this study contributes to the clarification of the concept of owner dynamic capabilities and the enrichment of their knowledge hierarchy. Practitioners can track the main contradictions that owners are currently facing against the actual situation and seek strategies.

Research Article
© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press in association with the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Aaltonen, K., & Kujala, J. (2010). A project lifecycle perspective on stakeholder influence strategies in global projects. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 26(4), 381397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Adam, A., & Lindahl, G. (2017). Applying the dynamic capabilities framework in the case of a large public construction client. Construction Management and Economics, 35(7), 420431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Adam, A., Lindahl, G., & Leiringer, R. (2020). The dynamic capabilities of public construction clients in the healthcare sector. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 13(1), 153171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Adner, R., & Helfat, C. E. (2003). Corporate effects and dynamic managerial capabilities. Strategic Management Journal, 24(10), 10111025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anand, J., Oriani, R., & Vassolo, R. S. (2010). Alliance activity as a dynamic capability in the face of a discontinuous technological change. Organization Science, 21(6), 12131232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Araújo, G. R., Kato, H. T., & Del Corso, J. M. (2022). Dynamic capabilities, strategic planning and performance: A virtuous and mutually reinforcing cycle. Journal of Management & Organization, 28(5), 11161132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Arndt, F. (2019). Dynamic capabilities: A retrospective, state-of-the-art, and future research agenda. Journal of Management & Organization, 14. doi:10.1017/jmo.2019.21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baía, E. P., & Ferreira, J. J. M. (2019). Dynamic capabilities and performance: How has the relationship been assessed? Journal of Management & Organization, 130. doi:10.1017/jmo.2019.88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barney, J. B. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1), 99120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bengtsson, M. (2016). How to plan and perform a qualitative study using content analysis. NursingPlus Open, 2, 814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berg, B., Lune, H., & Lune, H. (2012). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences. Harlow: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
Bonham, M. B. (2013). Leading by example: New professionalism and the government client. Building Research and Information, 41(1), 7794.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cha, J., Newman, M., & Winch, G. (2015). Owner dynamic capabilities and benefits management in public information systems projects: A qualitative content analysis. In 2015 International Conference on Information Systems: Exploring the Information Frontier, ICIS 2015, 113.Google Scholar
Che Ibrahim, C. K. I., Costello, S. B., & Wilkinson, S. (2013). Development of a conceptual team integration performance index for alliance projects. Construction Management and Economics, 31(11), 11281143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Che Ibrahim, C. K. I., Costello, S. B., & Wilkinson, S. (2015). A fuzzy approach to developing scales for performance levels of alliance team integration assessment. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 141(5), .CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chen, C. (2014). The CiteSpace manual. Retrieved November 1 , 2022, from∼cchen/citespace/CiteSpaceManualGoogle Scholar
Cristofaro, M., & Lovallo, D. (2022). From framework to theory: An evolutionary view of dynamic capabilities and their microfoundations. Journal of Management & Organization, 28(3), 429450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dakhil, A., Underwood, J., & Al Shawi, M. (2019). Critical success competencies for the BIM implementation process: UK construction clients. Journal of Information Technology in Construction, 24, 8094.Google Scholar
Danneels, E. (2016). Survey measures of first- and second-order competences. Strategic Management Journal, 37(10), 21742188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davies, A., & Brady, T. (2016). Explicating the dynamics of project capabilities. International Journal of Project Management, 34(2), 314327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davies, A., Dodgson, M., & Gann, D. (2016). Dynamic capabilities in complex projects: The case of London Heathrow Terminal 5. Project Management Journal, 47(2), 2646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davies, A., MacAulay, S., DeBarro, T., & Thurston, M. (2014). Making innovation happen in a megaproject: London’s Crossrail suburban railway system. Project Management Journal, 45(6), 2537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dey, I. (2003). Qualitative data analysis: A user-friendly guide for social scientists (p. 1). London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dodgson, M., Gann, D., MacAulay, S., & Davies, A. (2015). Innovation strategy in new transportation systems: The case of Crossrail. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 77, 261275.Google Scholar
Durán, W. F., & Aguado, D. (2022). CEOs’ managerial cognition and dynamic capabilities: A meta-analytical study from the microfoundations approach. Journal of Management & Organization, 28(3), 451479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eisenhardt, K. M., & Martin, J. A. (2000). Dynamic capabilities: What are they? Strategic Management Journal, 21(10–11), 11051121.3.0.CO;2-E>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eriksson, P. E., & Laan, A. (2007). Procurement effects on trust and control in client-contractor relationships. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 14(4), 387399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fainshmidt, S., Wenger, L., Pezeshkan, A., & Mallon, M. R. (2019). When do dynamic capabilities lead to competitive advantage? The importance of strategic fit. Journal of Management Studies, 56(4), 758787.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Falagas, M. E., Pitsouni, E. I., Malietzis, G. A., & Pappas, G. (2008). Comparison of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar: Strengths and weaknesses. The FASEB Journal, 22(2), 338342.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Forgues, D., Koskela, L., & Lejeune, A. (2007). Toward a client-driven requirement management framework for achieving best value for money. In Hughes, W. (Ed.), CME 2007 Conference – Construction Management and Economics: “Past, Present and Future” (pp. 373383). School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading.Google Scholar
Friedland, R. (2014). The institutional logics perspective: A new approach to culture, structure and process. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 35(6), 584584.Google Scholar
Gadisa, B., & Zhou, H. (2020). Exploring influential factors leading to the poor performance of public construction project in Ethiopia using structural equation modelling. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 28(6), 16831712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gann, D. M., Davies, A., & Dodgson, M. (2017). Innovation and flexibility in megaprojects. In Flyvbjerg, B. (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of megaproject management (vol 1, pp. 313338). London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Garvin, M. J., & Cheah, C. Y. J. (2004). Valuation techniques for infrastructive investment decisions. Construction Management and Economics, 22(4), 373383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ghannoum, C., Antar, S., Daoud, Y., & Hamzeh, F. (2019). Are construction clients ready to lead the lean initiative? Lean Construction Journal, 2019, 105120.Google Scholar
Gibb, A. G. F., & Isack, F. (2001). Client drivers for construction projects: Implications for standardization. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 8(1), 4658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gibson, C. B., & Birkinshaw, J. (2004). The antecedents, consequences, and mediating role of organizational ambidexterity. Academy of Management Journal, 47(2), 209226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grabher, G. (2002). The project ecology of advertising: tasks, talents and teams. Regional Studies, 36(3), 245262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grant, R. M., & Baden-Fuller, C. (2004). A knowledge accessing theory of strategic alliances. Journal of Management Studies, 41(1), 6184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gulino, M. L., Sergeeva, N., & Winch, G. (2020). Owner capabilities in social infrastructure projects: Towards an expansion of the dynamic capabilities’ framework. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 13(6), 12631282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Häkkinen, T., & Belloni, K. (2011). Barriers and drivers for sustainable building. Building Research & Information, 39(3), 239255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Havenvid, M. I., Hulthén, K., Linné, Å., & Sundquist, V. (2016). Renewal in construction projects: Tracing effects of client requirements. Construction Management and Economics, 34(11), 790807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heffernan, G. M. (2003). Path dependence, behavioral rules, and the role of entrepreneurship in economic change: The case of the automobile industry. The Review of Austrian Economics 2003, 16(1), 4562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Helfat, C. E., & Martin, J. A. (2015). Dynamic managerial capabilities: Review and assessment of managerial impact on strategic change. Journal of Management, 41(5), 12811312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Helfat, C. E., & Peteraf, M. A. (2005). The dynamic resource-based view: Capability lifecycles. Strategic Management Journal, 24(10), 9971010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Helfat, C. E., & Peteraf, M. A. (2009). Understanding dynamic capabilities: Progress along a developmental path. Strategic Organization, 7(1), 91102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Helfat, C. E., & Peteraf, M. A. (2015). Managerial cognitive capabilities and the microfoundations of dynamic capabilities. Strategic Management Journal, 36(6), 831850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hetemi, E., Gemünden, H. G., & Meré, J. O. (2020). Embeddedness and actors’ behaviors in large-scale project life cycle: Lessons learned from a high-speed rail project in Spain. Journal of Management in Engineering, 36(6), .CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hu, Y., Chan, A. P. C., & Le, Y. (2015). Understanding the determinants of program organization for construction megaproject success: Case study of the Shanghai Expo construction. Journal of Management in Engineering, 31(5), .CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hui, P. P., Davis-Blake, A., & Broschak, J. P. (2008). Managing interdependence: The effects of outsourcing structure on the performance of complex projects. Decision Sciences, 39(1), 531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iyer, K. C., & Jha, K. N. (2006). Critical factors affecting schedule performance: Evidence from indian construction projects. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 132(8), 871881.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jiao, H., Jifeng, Y., & Ying, Y. (2021). Dynamic capabilities: A systematic literature review and an Agenda for the Chinese Future Research. Management World, 37(5), .Google Scholar
Khan, T. Z. A., Farooq, W., & Rasheed, H. (2019). Organizational resilience: A dynamic capability of complex systems. Journal of Management and Research, 6(1), 127.Google Scholar
Kleinberg, J. (2003). Bursty and hierarchical structure in Streams. Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 7(4), 373397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kozhevnikov, M. (2007). Cognitive styles in the context of modern psychology: Toward an integrated framework of cognitive style. Psychological Bulletin, 133(3), 464481.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Laamanen, T., & Wallin, J. (2009). Cognitive dynamics of capability development paths. Journal of Management Studies, 46(6), 950981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Le Deist, F. D., & Winterton, J. (2005). What is competence? Human Resource Development International, 8(1), 2746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Leiringer, R., & Zhang, S. (2021). Organisational capabilities and project organising research. International Journal of Project Management, 39(5), 422436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levander, E., Engström, S., Sardén, Y., & Stehn, L. (2011). Construction clients’ ability to manage uncertainty and equivocality. Construction Management and Economics, 29(7), 753764.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lindblad, H., & Gustavsson, T. K. (2021). Public clients ability to drive industry change: The case of implementing BIM. Construction Management and Economics, 39(1), 2135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Liu, H., Yu, Y., Sun, Y., & Yan, X. (2021). A system dynamic approach for simulation of a knowledge transfer model of heterogeneous senders in mega project innovation. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 28(3), 681705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lobo, S., & Whyte, J. (2017). Aligning and reconciling: Building project capabilities for digital delivery. Research Policy, 46(1), 93107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Louw, W., Steyn, H., Wium, J., & Gevers, W. (2022). An investigation of sponsor attributes on six megaproject cases. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 15(1), 5881.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ludvig, K., Stenberg, A. C., & Gluch, P. (2013). The value of communicative skills for developing an energy strategy. Building Research and Information, 41(6), 611621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Manley, K. (2006). The innovation competence of repeat public sector clients in the Australian construction industry. Construction Management and Economics, 24(12), 12951304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Markovich, A., Raban, D. R., & Efrat, K. (2022). Tailoring competitive information sources to the sequence of dynamic capabilities. Journal of Management & Organization, 28(3), 480501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Maytorena-Sanchez, E., & Winch, G. M. (2022). Engaged scholarship in project organizing research: The case of UK infrastructure. Project Leadership and Society, 3, .CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Melkonian, T., & Picq, T. (2011). Building project capabilities in PBOs: Lessons from the French Special Forces. International Journal of Project Management, 29(4), 455467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Molenaar, K., Washington, S., & Diekmann, J. (2000). Structural Equation Model of Construction Contract Dispute Potential. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 126(4), 268277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mulholland, C., Chan, P. W., Canning, K., & Ejohwomu, O. A. (2020). Social value for whom, by whom and when? Managing stakeholder dynamics in a UK megaproject. Proceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers: Management, Procurement and Law, 173(2), 7586.Google Scholar
Oppong, G. D., Chan, A. P. C., & Dansoh, A. (2017). A review of stakeholder management performance attributes in construction projects. International Journal of Project Management, 35(6), 10371051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
O’Reilly, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2008). Ambidexterity as a dynamic capability: Resolving the innovator’s dilemma. Research in Organizational Behavior, 28, 185206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pavez, I., Gómez, H., Laulié, L., & González, V. A. (2021). Project team resilience: The effect of group potency and interpersonal trust. International Journal of Project Management, 39(6), 697708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Prange, C., Bruyaka, O., & Marmenout, K. (2018). Investigating the transformation and transition processes between dynamic capabilities: Evidence from DHL. Organization Studies, 39(11), 15471573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Qiang, M., Wen, Q., Jiang, H., & Yuan, S. (2015). Factors governing construction project delivery selection: A content analysis. International Journal of Project Management, 33(8), 17801794.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rodríguez-Sánchez, A., Guinot, J., Chiva, R., & López-Cabrales, Á. (2021). How to emerge stronger: Antecedents and consequences of organizational resilience. Journal of Management & Organization, 27(3), 442459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Salvato, C., & Vassolo, R. (2018). The sources of dynamism in dynamic capabilities. Strategic Management Journal, 39(6), 17281752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sankaran, S. (2018). Megaproject management and leadership: A narrative analysis of life stories – Past and present. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 11(1), 5379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schilke, O., Hu, S., & Helfat, C. E. (2018). Quo vadis, dynamic capabilities? A content-analytic review of the current state of knowledge and recommendations for future research. Academy of Management Annals, 12(1), 390439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sergeeva, N. (2020). Towards more flexible approach to governance to allow innovation: The case of UK infrastructure. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 13(1), 119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simkoko, E. (1992). Managing international construction projects for competence development within local firms. International Journal of Project Management, 10(1), 1222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sinesilassie, E. G., Tripathi, K. K., Tabish, S. Z. S., & Jha, K. N. (2019). Modeling success factors for public construction projects with the SEM approach: Engineer’s perspective. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 26(10), 24102431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sirmon, D. G., & Hitt, M. A. (2009). Contingencies within dynamic managerial capabilities: Interdependent effects of resource investment and deployment on firm performance. Strategic Management Journal, 30(13), 13751394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stordy, J., Zerjav, V., & Kanjanabootra, S. (2021). Owner capabilities in the project society: The setting of project-supported organisations. Project Leadership and Society, 2, .CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Teece, D. J. (2007). Explicating dynamic capabilities: The nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strategic Management Journal, 28(13), 13191350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Teece, D. J. (2012). Dynamic capabilities: Routines versus entrepreneurial action. Journal of Management Studies, 49(8), 13951401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Teece, D. J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18(7), 509533.3.0.CO;2-Z>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Too, E. G. (2012). Capability model to improve infrastructure asset performance. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 138(7), 885896.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vu, H. A., Cu, V. H., Min, L. X., & Wang, J. Q. (2017). Risk analysis of schedule delays in international highway projects in Vietnam using a structural equation model. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 24(6), 10181039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Walsh, J. P. (1995). Managerial and organizational cognition: Notes from a trip down memory lane. Organization Science, 6(3), 280321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wang, B., Geng, L., Dang, P., & Zhang, L. (2022). Developing a framework for dynamic organizational resilience analysis in prefabricated construction projects: A project life cycle perspective. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 148(10), 114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wang, S., Tang, W., & Li, Y. (2013). Relationship between owners’ capabilities and project performance on development of hydropower projects in China. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 139(9), 11681178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Webster, J., & Watson, R. T. (2002). Analyzing the past to prepare for the future: Writing a literature review. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. MIS Quarterly, 26(2), xiiixxiii.Google Scholar
Wen, Q., Qiang, M., & An, N. (2017). Collaborating with construction management consultants in project execution: Responsibility delegation and capability integration. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 143(7), .CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Winch, G., & Cha, J. (2020). Owner challenges on major projects: The case of UK government. International Journal of Project Management, 38(3), 177187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Winch, G., & Leiringer, R. (2016). Owner project capabilities for infrastructure development: A review and development of the “strong owner” concept. International Journal of Project Management, 34(2), 271281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Winter, S. G. (2003). Understanding dynamic capabilities. Strategic Management Journal, 24(10 SPEC ISS), 991995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Xia, B., & Chan, A. P. C. (2010). Key competences of design-build clients in China. Journal of Facilities Management, 8(2), 114129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Xia, O., Chen, A., Xie, Q., & Liu, Y. (2018). Conceptualising the state of the art of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the construction industry and its nexus to sustainable development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 195, 340353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yang, X., & Smyrnios, K. X. (2018). Unravelling organizational resilience. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2018(1), .Google Scholar
Yang, X., Wang, L., Zhu, F., & Müller, R. (2022). Prior and governed stakeholder relationships: The key to resilience of inter-organizational projects. International Journal of Project Management, 40(1), 6475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yong, Y. C., & Mustaffa, N. E. (2013). Critical success factors for Malaysian construction projects: An empirical assessment. Construction Management and Economics, 31(9), 959978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zerjav, V., Edkins, A., & Davies, A. (2018). Project capabilities for operational outcomes in inter-organisational settings: The case of London Heathrow Terminal 2. International Journal of Project Management, 36(3), 444459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zhang, Y., & Wildemuth, B. M. (2016). Qualitative analysis of content. In Applications of social research methods to questions in information and library science (p. ). Santa Barbara: Abc-Clio.Google Scholar
Zwikael, O., Meredith, J. R., & Smyrk, J. (2019). The responsibilities of the project owner in benefits realization. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 39(4), 503524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar