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Learning and the sources of corporate growth


  • Paul Geroski
  • Mariana Mazzucato


This paper explores the link between learning and corporate growth by developing different models of learning and showing that they produce observably different models of corporate growth. Using data on the growth of a number of firms in the US automobile industry during the 20th century, we compare these different models of growth in an effort to identify the major sources of learning which these firms seem to have relied on. Although there are interesting differences between growth processes before and after the Second World War, the basic conclusion that we are drawn to is that learning in this sector is largely unsystematic and opportunistic. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Geroski & Mariana Mazzucato, 2002. "Learning and the sources of corporate growth," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 623-644, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:11:y:2002:i:4:p:623-644

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Teece, David J, 1993. "The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Perspectives on Alfred Chandler's Scale and Scope," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 199-225, March.
    2. David J. TEECE, 2008. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Transfer And Licensing Of Know-How And Intellectual Property Understanding the Multinational Enterprise in the Modern World, chapter 5, pages 67-87 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Dosi Giovanni & Gambardella Alfonso & Grazzi Marco & Orsenigo Luigi, 2008. "Technological Revolutions and the Evolution of Industrial Structures: Assessing the Impact of New Technologies upon the Size and Boundaries of Firms," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-49, June.
    4. Richard N. Langlois, 2003. "The vanishing hand: the changing dynamics of industrial capitalism," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 351-385, April.
    5. David C. Mowery, 1995. "The Boundaries of the U.S. Firm in R&D," NBER Chapters,in: Coordination and Information: Historical Perspectives on the Organization of Enterprise, pages 147-182 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Chandler, Alfred D., 1973. "Decision Making and Modern Institutional Change," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(01), pages 1-15, March.
    7. Chandler, Alfred D., 1965. "The Railroads: Pioneers in Modern Corporate Management," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(01), pages 16-40, March.
    8. Nelson, Richard R., 1990. "Capitalism as an engine of progress," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 193-214, June.
    9. David, Paul A & Wright, Gavin, 1997. "Increasing Returns and the Genesis of American Resource Abundance," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 203-245, March.
    10. Nelson, Richard R., 2008. "What enables rapid economic progress: What are the needed institutions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-11, February.
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    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L3 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise


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