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On the Convergence of Evolutionary and Behavioral Theories of Organizations: A Tentative Roadmap

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  • Giovanni Dosi
  • Luigi Marengo

Abstract

The behavioral theory of the firm has been acknowledged as one of the most fundamental pillars on which evolutionary theorizing in economics has been built. Nelson and Winter's 1982 book is pervaded by the philosophy and concepts previously developed by Cyert, March and Simon. On the other hand, some behavioral notions, such as bounded rationality, though isolated from the context, are also at the heart of some economic theories of institutions such as transaction costs economics. In this paper, after briefly reviewing the basic concepts of evolutionary economics, we discuss its implications for the theory of organizations (and business firms in particular), and we suggest that evolutionary theory should coherently embrace an embeddedness view of organizations, whereby the latter are not simply efficient solutions to informational problems arising from contract incompleteness and uncertainty, but also shape the "visions of the world", interaction networks, behavioral patterns and, ultimately, the very identity of the agents. After outlining the basic features of this perspective we analyze its consequences and empirical relevance.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Dosi & Luigi Marengo, 2007. "On the Convergence of Evolutionary and Behavioral Theories of Organizations: A Tentative Roadmap," LEM Papers Series 2007/01, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2007/01
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    Cited by:

    1. Abatecola, Gianpaolo, 2014. "Research in organizational evolution. What comes next?," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 434-443.
    2. Isabel Maria Bodas Freitas, 2011. "Technological learning environments and organizational practices--cross-sectoral evidence from Britain," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(5), pages 1439-1474, October.
    3. repec:pal:jintbs:v:48:y:2017:i:9:d:10.1057_s41267-017-0119-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sumit K. MAJUMDAR, 2014. "Regulation And Job Creation: An Analysis Of Institutional Change And Its Consequences," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(2), pages 305-325, June.
    5. repec:eee:worbus:v:53:y:2018:i:2:p:151-163 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Alex Coad, 2017. "Persistent heterogeneity of R&D intensities within sectors: Evidence and policy implications," JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2017-04, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    7. Ehrenfeld, Wilfried, 2012. "Towards a Theory of Climate Innovation - A Model Framework for Analyzing Drivers and Determinants," IWH Discussion Papers 1/2012, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    8. Alex Coad, 2017. "Persistent heterogeneity of R&D intensities within sectors: Evidence and policy implications," JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2017-04, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    9. Thierry Burger-Helmchen & Patrick Llerena, 2008. "A case study of a creative start-up: governance, communities and knowledge management," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 125-146.
    10. Augier, Mie, 2013. "The early evolution of the foundations for behavioral organization theory and strategy," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 72-81.
    11. Antonino Vaccaro & Stefano Brusoni & Francisco M. Veloso, 2011. "Virtual Design, Problem Framing, and Innovation: An Empirical Study in the Automotive Industry," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 99-122, January.
    12. Hoppmann, Joern & Peters, Michael & Schneider, Malte & Hoffmann, Volker H., 2013. "The two faces of market support—How deployment policies affect technological exploration and exploitation in the solar photovoltaic industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 989-1003.
    13. repec:pal:jintbs:v:48:y:2017:i:9:d:10.1057_s41267-017-0107-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Fritz Rahmeyer, 2010. "A Neo-Darwinian Foundation of Evolutionary Economics. With an Application to the Theory of the Firm," Discussion Paper Series 309, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    15. A. Madureira & F. Hartog & N. Baken, 2016. "A holonic framework to understand and apply information processes in evolutionary economics: survey and proposal," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 157-190, September.
    16. Majumdar, Sumit K., 2016. "Debt and communications technology diffusion: Retrospective evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 458-474.

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