I found quite similar arguments between the Capitalists Dilema Article and the introduction to “The Balanced Scorecard” by Robert Kaplan and David Norton(year 1996).
The following is my opinion and personal perspective:
The fact that companies are sitting on a big pile of money has two probable effects, 1)they have a feel for financial safety so the urge to go out to the wild and fight for survival does not exists. 2)this inexistent urge puts companies in a comfortable mindset from which they can be more “observers” and less “doers”. It is part of human nature to fight back only under pressure and is under pressure when we are the most innovative, creative and are more willing to risk. Risk and hard times are great motivators.
I also believe that a probable cause for the Capitalists Dilema is the way that companies measure success, more specifically, that companies measure success from a financial perspective only, which narrows down the “success topic” to cold numbers. For example:
*Actions that focus on short term results to increase stocks prices.
*Actions that focus on easy-to-messure outcomes(quantitative data) instead of qualitative success.
*Companies are evaluated on monthly, quarterly or yearly performance, so prioritization of such goals are preferred.(Yet no “Empire” was build in such a short period)
Because many executives have come to strong and well stablished companies, many might not know how such a company got where it is right now, and that is, probably having taken big risks and betting for uncertainty in their early years. In my opinion, the Capitalist Dilema is based on risk-taking adversity, not trusting the guts to pursue greatness and in general staying stagnant and confortable.
I do agree with the notion about companies being less and less prompted