Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 32 Number 1 2015 pp. 39-81

The Role of Dynamic Capabilities in Responding to Digital Disruption: A Factor-Based Study of the Newspaper Industry

Karimi, Jahangir and Walter, Zhiping


Internet and digitization are fundamentally changing and disrupting newspaper companies’ traditional operating models. Disruptive innovation theory offers explanations for why companies succeed or fail to respond to disruptive innovations. This study builds on disruptive innovation theory by ascertaining the role of dynamic capabilities in the performance of response to digital disruption. Empirical results suggest that first-order dynamic capabilities that are created by changing, extending, or adapting a firm’s existing resources, processes, and values are positively associated with building digital platform capabilities, and that these capabilities impact the performance of response to digital disruption. For information systems (IS) researchers, this study clarifies the role of first-order dynamic capabilities in responding to digital disruption. For IS practice, it helps managers to focus on the most promising factors for creating first-order dynamic capabilities, for building digital platform capabilities, and for reinventing their core functions to accelerate digitization.

Key words and phrases: autonomous growth group, common language, digital disruption, digital platforms, digital transformation, digitization, disruptive innovation, innovative culture, multimedia mindset, organizational capabilities, resources-processes-values (RPV) framework, response performance, staged resource allocation