Impact pathways: Towards an adapted understanding of the development of operational capabilities

Frank Wiengarten, Christian F Durach, Henrik Franke, Torbjorn Netland, Fabian Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


This study is intended to motivate and guide future researchers to rethink and update their theories of operational capability development. By examining the extensive body of research on operational capabilities and working closely with an industry partner, the authors are iteratively developing new thinking about why our existing models seem to be failing and what aspects are likely to be useful in updating them.

This pathway paper is based on observations gained through a structured literature review, close collaboration with an industry partner and discussions with other industry partners and executives.

The authors identify ways in which the operations management community could begin to challenge and expand existing models of operational capability development. They provide reflections on the network structure of operational capabilities, i.e. their interconnectedness and interactions, which are likely to evolve dynamically over time and have not yet been part of the authors’ thinking about operational capability development.

The authors hope to stimulate new research through this pathway paper. By synthesizing their existing knowledge of operational capabilities and collaborating with an industry partner, the authors have attempted to highlight their limited knowledge of capability development. In addition, the authors offer several opportunities to rethink their existing models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Early online date15 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 15 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • operations strategy
  • competitive priorities
  • operational capabilities
  • Operations strategy
  • Competitive priorities
  • Operational capabilities


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