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Keywords:

  • dynamic capabilities;
  • cocitation analysis;
  • development path;
  • resource-based;
  • dynamic bundles

A critical issue has been absent from the conversation on dynamic capabilities: the two seminal papers represent not only different but contradictory understandings of the construct's core elements. Here, we explore the reasons for this, using author cocitation analysis to inform our analysis. Our findings suggest that the field is being socially constructed on the basis of two separate domains of knowledge and that underlying structural impediments have impeded dialog across the domains. In light of this evidence, then, we take up the challenge to find a solution to this dilemma. By employing a contingency-based approach, we show that there are ways to unify the field that rely, paradoxically, on integrating the two contradictory views, while still preserving the assumptions that led to their differences. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.