A capability refers to “the power to do something” (Dictionaries, Oxford, 2018). Understood in such terms, one could argue that capabilities are at the center of management, as management is always about doing something, making some changes, so that firms are able to perform better (Van de Ven & Poole, 1995). Capabilities represent an important contemporary research topic of the management literature in general, and of industrial marketing in particular. This is arguably for two main reasons. First, a focus on capabilities relates to the growing popularity of the resource-based view of the firm (RBV) in the strategy literature as an explanatory theory of competitive advantage (Barney, 1991; Day, 1994; Hamel & Prahalad, 1990). Second, the dynamic capability theory (DCT) (Eisenhardt & Martin, 2000; Teece, Pisano, & Shuen, 1997) allows academic research to address issues around environmental dynamism, resulting in strategic changes, i.e. capabilities inducing deep and systematic transformations of the resource base of a firm in order to adjust to changing environmental demands, thus achieving evolutionary fitness (Helfat et al., 2007). Although the DCT is still maturing (Ambrosini & Bowman, 2009; Barreto, 2010) and the literature is somewhat fragmented (Di Stefano, Peteraf, & Verona, 2014; Peteraf, Di Stefano, & Verona, 2013), the concept of dynamic capabilities has become one of the most influential stimuli in the whole discipline of strategy (Di Stefano et al., 2014; Schilke, 2014; Schilke, Hu, & Helfat, 2017) and permeates to related disciplines such as industrial marketing or supply chain management. Among the rare special issues published in the Strategic Management Journal over the last two decades (twelve in general in the years 1997–2017), two were dedicated to topics related to DCT (D'Aveni, Dagnino, & Smith, 2010; Helfat, 2000). The above considerations provide the initial impetus for this special issue in Industrial Marketing Management on the topic of capabilities in business relationships and networks. We integrate capabilities on the one hand, and business relationships and networks on the other based on the following considerations: While the RBV focuses on resources and capabilities internal to the organization, the relational view of the firm highlights the importance of collaboration with other organizations in order to mobilize external resources and capabilities (Dyer & Singh, 1998; Zaefarian, Henneberg, & Naudé, 2011). The resulting collaborations and cooperations between firms solidify into business relationships and wider networks, and require specific explanatory concepts and theories in the area of industrial marketing as well as purchasing and supply chain management (Anderson, Håkansson, & Johanson, 1994; Cousins, Handfield, Lawson, & Petersen, 2006; Palmatier, Dant, Grewal, & Evans, 2006). Extant research suggests that business relationships are complex phenomena which consist of multilevel actor and resource bonds between companies, and that managerial decision-making should take into consideration both the opportunities as well as threats and limitations embedded in these relationships (Hakansson & Ford, 2002; Ritter, Wilkinson, & Johnston, 2004). Consequently, utilizing business relationships, relationship portfolios, as well as wider networks, for the strategic benefits of a focal company received considerable theoretical as well empirical research interest (e.g. Ahuja, 2000; Dyer, Singh, & Kale, 2008).