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Darwinism, organizational evolution and survival: key challenges for future research


  • Gianpaolo Abatecola


  • Fiorenza Belussi


  • Dermot Breslin


  • Igor Filatotchev



How do social organizations evolve? How do they adapt to environmental pressures? What resources and capabilities determine their survival within dynamic competition? Charles Darwin’s seminal work The Origin of Species ( 1859 ) has provided a significant impact on the development of the management and organization theory literatures on organizational evolution. This article introduces the JMG Special Issue focused on Darwinism, organizational evolution and survival. We discuss key themes in the organizational evolution research that have emerged in recent years. These include the increasing adoption of the co-evolutionary approach, with a particular focus on the definition of appropriate units of analysis, such as routines, and related challenges associated with exploring the relationship between co-evolution, re-use of knowledge, adaptation, and exaptation processes. We then introduce the three articles that we have finally accepted in this Special Issue after an extensive, multi-round, triple blind-review process. We briefly outline how each of these articles contributes to understanding among scholars, practitioners and policy makers of the continuous evolutionary processes within and among social organizations and systems. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Suggested Citation

  • Gianpaolo Abatecola & Fiorenza Belussi & Dermot Breslin & Igor Filatotchev, 2016. "Darwinism, organizational evolution and survival: key challenges for future research," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(1), pages 1-17, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:20:y:2016:i:1:p:1-17
    DOI: 10.1007/s10997-015-9310-8

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    Cited by:

    1. Jasper Grashuis, 2018. "An Exploratory Study of Cooperative Survival: Strategic Adaptation to External Developments," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(3), pages 1-1, February.
    2. Aaltonen, Päivi Hanna Maria, 2020. "Piecing together a puzzle—A review and research agenda on internationalization and the promise of exaptation," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4).
    3. Benaim, Mickael, 2018. "From symbolic values to symbolic innovation: Internet-memes and innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 901-910.
    4. Rocco Frondizi & Chiara Fantauzzi & Nathalie Colasanti & Gloria Fiorani, 2019. "The Evaluation of Universities’ Third Mission and Intellectual Capital: Theoretical Analysis and Application to Italy," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(12), pages 1-1, June.
    5. Gianpaolo Abatecola & Matteo Cristofaro, 2019. "Ingredients of Sustainable CEO Behaviour: Theory and Practice," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(7), pages 1-1, April.

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    Darwinism; Adaptation; Co-evolution; Exaptation;


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