Explicating dynamic capabilities for corporate sustainability

Qiang Wu, Qile He, Yanqing Duan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – Differences in corporate commitments to sustainability have attracted increasing attentions of both researchers and practitioners. However, reasons behind such differences still lack a generic theorization. We propose that one source of these differences lies in the development and application of what we refer to as dynamic capabilities for corporate sustainability within the firm. Drawing on the dynamic capabilities view, the objective of this paper is to examine the fundamental role of dynamic capabilities in corporate sustainable development.
Design/methodology/approach – The research developed a framework of dynamic capabilities for corporate sustainability and used the approach of content analysis to verify the framework based on the CSR reports of UK leading companies.
Findings – The research demonstrates that the dynamic capabilities for corporate sustainability enable firms to monitor the emerging sustainability needs of various stakeholders, seize sustainable development opportunities from the rapidly changing stakeholders’ expectations, and reconfigure existing functional capabilities for corporate sustainability.
Practical implications – The framework of dynamic capabilities for corporate sustainability developed in this paper may be used by practitioners to better understand firms’ status in the corporate sustainable development, identify areas of improvement, and more effectively overcome emerging sustainability challenges.
Originality/value – This study makes an early attempt to extend the dynamic capabilities perspective to the area of corporate sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-272
Number of pages18
JournalEuroMed Journal of Business
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • corporate sustainability
  • CSR report
  • dynamic capabilities
  • sustainability practices


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