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Organizational capabilities and industry dynamics: a computational model

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Author Info

  • Marco Corsino
  • Roberto Gabriele
  • Enrico Zaninotto

    ()
    (DISA, Faculty of Economics, Trento University)

Abstract

In this paper we propose a model of bounded rational organizations that addresses the role of organizational capabilities in shaping firm size, growth rates and profitability. Our approach aims at reconciling the logic behind stochastic models of firm growth with the notion of organizational capabilities as drivers of economic performance. We extend the stochastic framework by incorporating behavioural assumptions on: (a) the interactions between the firm and the business environment; and (b) the mechanism by which firms sense and seize business opportunities. In our perspective, the degree of concurrence between the substance and organization of the firm and the context in which it operates will directly influence its profitability and indirectly (through costly mutations of the organizational structure) drive its growth. Despite its simple nature the model is able to capture well known regularities about industry dynamics. It generates firm size distributions that are skewed and heterogeneous across different scenarios. Moreover, our results suggest that the higher the selective power of the firm's organizational capabilities, the more the steady state distribution deviates from a log normal. Besides, the distribution of growth rates has a tent-shaped form which is consistent with the pattern described in empirical studies. The distribution of opportunities per firm is also skewed suggesting that a very few entities account for a large fraction of business opportunities arising throughout the simulation period. Finally, the interaction between the external environment and the internal structure of the firms also influences the heterogeneity in the value of the opportunities they capture.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy in its series DISA Working Papers with number 0809.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision: 18 Nov 2008
Handle: RePEc:trt:disawp:0809

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Related research

Keywords: organizational capabilities; firm size distribution; growth rates; simulation model;

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References

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  1. Singh, Ajit & Whittington, Geoffrey, 1975. "The Size and Growth of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 15-26, January.
  2. Fu, Dongfeng & Pammolli, Fabio & Buldyrev, Sergey V. & Riccaboni, Massimo & Matia, Kaushik & Yamasaki, Kazuko & Stanley, H. Eugene, 2005. "The Growth of Business Firms: Theoretical Framework and Empirical Evidence," MPRA Paper 15905, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Stanley, Michael H. R. & Buldyrev, Sergey V. & Havlin, Shlomo & Mantegna, Rosario N. & Salinger, Michael A. & Eugene Stanley, H., 1995. "Zipf plots and the size distribution of firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 453-457, October.
  4. Marco Corsino & Roberto Gabriele & Enrico Zaninotto, 2008. "Organizational capabilities and industry dynamics: a computational model," DISA Working Papers 0809, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 18 Nov 2008.
  5. Alex Coad, 2006. "A Closer Look at Serial Growth Rate Correlation," LEM Papers Series 2006/29, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  6. Herbert A. Simon, 1996. "The Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691914.
  7. Amaral, L.A.N. & Gopikrishnan, P. & Plerou, V. & Stanley, H.E., 2001. "A model for the growth dynamics of economic organizations," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 299(1), pages 127-136.
  8. Dunne, Paul & Hughes, Alan, 1994. "Age, Size, Growth and Survival: UK Companies in the 1980s," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 115-40, June.
  9. G. Bottazzi & E. Cefis & G. Dosi & A. Secchi, 2007. "Invariances and Diversities in the Patterns of Industrial Evolution: Some Evidence from Italian Manufacturing Industries," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 137-159, June.
  10. Palestrini, Antonio, 2007. "Analysis of industrial dynamics: A note on the relationship between firms' size and growth rate," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 367-371, March.
  11. Growiec, Jakub & Pammolli, Fabio & Riccaboni, Massimo & Stanley, H. Eugene, 2008. "On the size distribution of business firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 207-212, February.
  12. Gabriel Hawawini & Venkat Subramanian & Paul Verdin, 2003. "Is performance driven by industry or firm-specific factors? A new look at the evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/14188, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Babbage, Charles, 1832. "Economy of Machinery and Manufactures," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number babbage1832.
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Cited by:
  1. Marco Corsino & Roberto Gabriele & Enrico Zaninotto, 2008. "Organizational capabilities and industry dynamics: a computational model," ROCK Working Papers 050, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 18 Nov 2008.

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