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Individuals and Organizations Thoughts on a Micro-Foundations Project for Strategic Management and Organizational Analysis


  • Teppo Felin
  • Nicolai Foss


Making links between micro and macro levels has been problematic in the social sciences, and the literature in strategic management and organization theory is no exception. The purpose of this chapter is to raise theoretical issues in developing micro-foundations for strategic management and organizational analysis. We discuss more general problems with collectivism in the social sciences by focusing on specific problems in extant organizational analysis. We introduce micro-foundations to the literature by explicating the underlying theoretical foundations of the origins of individual action and interaction. We highlight opportunities for future research, specifically emphasizing the need for a rational choice program in management research.

Suggested Citation

  • Teppo Felin & Nicolai Foss, 2006. "Individuals and Organizations Thoughts on a Micro-Foundations Project for Strategic Management and Organizational Analysis," DRUID Working Papers 06-01, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:06-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Henderson, Rebecca. & Cockburn, Iain., 1994. "Measuring competence? : exploring firm effects in pharmaceutical research," Working papers 3712-94., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    2. Todd R. Zenger, 1994. "Explaining Organizational Diseconomies of Scale in R&D: Agency Problems and the Allocation of Engineering Talent, Ideas, and Effort by Firm Size," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(6), pages 708-729, June.
    3. Cohen, Michael D, et al, 1996. "Routines and Other Recurring Action Patterns of Organizations: Contemporary Research Issues," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 653-698.
    4. Marco Valente & Andrea Bassanini & Luigi Marengo & Giovanni Dosi, 1999. "Norms as emergent properties of adaptive learning: The case of economic routines," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 5-26.
    5. Teppo Felin & Nicolai J. Foss, 2004. "Organizational Routines A Sceptical Look," DRUID Working Papers 04-13, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    6. Dosi, Giovanni, 1995. "Hierarchies, Markets and Power: Some Foundational Issues on the Nature of Contemporary Economic Organizations," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19.
    7. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
    8. Scott Stern, 2004. "Do Scientists Pay to Be Scientists?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(6), pages 835-853, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Abell & Teppo Felin & Nicolai Foss, 2008. "Building micro-foundations for the routines, capabilities, and performance links," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(6), pages 489-502.
    2. Weck, Mona & Blomqvist, Kirsimarja, 2008. "The role of inter-organizational relationships in the development of patents: A knowledge-based approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1329-1336, September.
    3. Johan Frishammar & Svante Andersson, 2009. "The overestimated role of strategic orientations for international performance in smaller firms," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 57-77, March.
    4. Muñoz, Félix & Encinar, María Isabel, 2011. "Agents intentionality, capabilities and the performance of Systems of Innovation," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2011/03, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
    5. Meier, Matthias & Weller, Ingo, 2010. "Wissensmanagement und unternehmensinterner Wissenstransfer," Discussion Papers 2010/16, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • M1 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration

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