From Group Selection to Organizational Interactors
This paper builds on previous work within the conceptual framework of a generalized Darwinism that clarifies such concepts as selection and replication. One of its aims is to refine the concept of the interactor. An overview of the conditions under which group selection may occur helps us identify factors such as structural coherence that are useful in defining the interactor. This in turn leads to the question of selection on multiple levels. An additional level of replication emerges when we consider routines within organizations and the social positions related to them. The analysis here establishes that social organizations including business firms are often interactors. Such organizations are more than simply groups because of the existence of routines and social positions. Accordingly, to understand firms and other organizations, we need more that a “dual inheritance” theory; we have to consider the replication of social positions and routines as well.
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