Organization, Evolution, Cognition and Dynamic Capabilities
Using insights from ‘embodied cognition’ and a resulting ‘cognitive theory of the firm’, The paper aims to contribute to the further development of evolutionary theory of organizations, in the specification of organizations as ‘interactors’ that carry organizational competencies as ‘replicators’, within industries as ‘populations’. The paper, in particular, analyzes how, if at all, ‘dynamic capabilities’ can be fitted into evolutionary theory, and proposes that the prime purpose of an organization is to serve as a cognitive ‘focusing device’. Here, cognition has a wide meaning, including perception, interpretation, sense making, and value judgments. The paper examines how cognition integrates organizations on the one hand, and creates differences within and between industries on the other, and proposes the following sources of ‘variation’ replication in communication, novel combinations of existing knowledge, and a path of discovery by which exploitation leads to exploration. These sources yield a proposal for dynamic capabilities. The paper also discusses in what sense, and to what extent these sources of variation are ‘blind’, as postulated in evolutionary theory.
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Volume (Year): V (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Wuyts, S.H.K. & Colombo, M. & Dutta, S. & Nooteboom, B., 2005.
"Empirical Tests of Optimal Cognitive Distance,"
2005-45, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Wuyts, S.H.K. & Colombo, M.G. & Dutta, S. & Nooteboom, B., 2004. "Empirical Tests Of Optimal Cognitive Distance," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2004-007-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
- Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 2002. "Darwinism in economics: from analogy to ontology," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 259-281.
- Nooteboom, Bart & Van Haverbeke, Wim & Duysters, Geert & Gilsing, Victor & van den Oord, Ad, 2007.
"Optimal cognitive distance and absorptive capacity,"
Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1016-1034, September.
- Nooteboom, B. & Vanhaverbeke, W.P.M. & Duijsters, G.M. & Gilsing, V.A. & Oord, A., 2006. "Optimal Cognitive Distance and Absorptive Capacity," Discussion Paper 2006-33, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Nooteboom, B. & Vanheverbeke, W.P.M. & Duysters, G.M. & Gilsing, V.A. & Oord van den, A,J,, 2005. "Optimal cognitive distance and absorptive capacity," Working Papers 05.05, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
- Ulrich Witt, 2004. "On the proper interpretation of 'evolution' in economics and its implications for production theory," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 125-146.
- Geoffrey Hodgson, 2002. "The Legal Nature of the Firm and the Myth of the Firm-Market Hybrid," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 37-60.
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