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This week, we are making another audio version of an Open Access article available as a podcast. This article appeared in “Business History” advance online in June 2022.
Unlocking Dynamic Capabilities in the Scotch Whisky Industry, 1945 to present
By Niall G MacKenzie, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow.
Andrew Perchard, Northumbria University.
David Mackay, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde.
George Burt, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling.
In this article we examine the development of the Scotch whisky industry since 1945 through the lens of dynamic capabilities. We explain how sui generis acts – novel initiatives outwith the established repertoire of practices of a firm or industry – by external actors joining the industry helped unlock dynamic capabilities at the firm level in the industry which in turn drove change across the sector after a series of takeovers. We detail the key structural changes in the Scotch whisky industry and demonstrate how important external actors can be in effecting sector level change by extending and connecting our analysis to existing debates in business history and strategy research.