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An autecological interpretation of the firm and its environment


  • Colin Jones



Explaining the survival and failure of firms is an important issue for researchers and managers of firms in society. Ecological approaches to the study of firms have existed for over 100 years, and have been increasingly popular during the past 40 years, especially since the pioneering works of Hannan and Freeman on one hand, and Aldrich on the other. This paper, in keeping with recent developments elsewhere in mainstream ecology outlines and positions the theoretical and philosophical foundations of an alternative ecological approach, autecology, that has not yet been formulated for the study of firms. The autecological approach affords the individual firm more autonomy in creating its own future evolutionary trajectory. The idea of an ecological complex is developed to provide clear focus on what is central to the application of autecology to the study of firms. The paper also considers several emergent research opportunities that highlight the potential value of employing an autecological approach to the study of firms. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Suggested Citation

  • Colin Jones, 2016. "An autecological interpretation of the firm and its environment," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(1), pages 69-87, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:20:y:2016:i:1:p:69-87
    DOI: 10.1007/s10997-014-9306-9

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