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, Stefan & Colombo, Massimo G. & Dutta, Shantanu & Nooteboom, Bart, 2005.
"Empirical tests of optimal cognitive distance,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 277-302, October.
- 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.
- Wuyts, S.H.K. & Colombo, M. & Dutta, S. & Nooteboom, B., 2005. "Empirical Tests of Optimal Cognitive Distance," Discussion Paper 2005-45, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- 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.
- Nooteboom, Bart & Van Haverbeke, Wim & Duysters, Geert & Gilsing, Victor & van den Oord, Ad, 2007. "Optimal cognitive distance and absorptive capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1016-1034, September.
- 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.
- 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.
- Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 2002. "Darwinism in economics: from analogy to ontology," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 259-281.
- 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. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)