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The evolutionary theory of the firm: Routines, complexity and change

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  • Werner Hölzl

    () (Vienna University of Economics & B.A.)

Abstract

This paper provides an overview on the evolutionary theory of the firm. The specific feature of the evolutionary approach is that it explains the adaptive behaviors of firms through the tension between innovation and selection. It is suggested that the evolutionary theory can provide a useful basis for a theory of the firm which is concerned with change over time and development.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Hölzl, 2005. "The evolutionary theory of the firm: Routines, complexity and change," Working Papers geewp46, Vienna University of Economics and Business Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwgee:geewp46
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Radner, Roy, 1996. "Bounded Rationality, Indeterminacy, and the Theory of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1360-1373, September.
    4. Jan Fagerberg, 2003. "Schumpeter and the revival of evolutionary economics: an appraisal of the literature," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 125-159, April.
    5. Winter, Sidney G, 1988. "On Coase, Competence, and the Corporation," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 163-180, Spring.
    6. Hölzl, Werner & Reinstaller, Andreas, 2003. "The Babbage principle after evolutionary economics," Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
    8. Andreas Reinstaller & Werner Hölzl, 2004. "Complementarity constraints and induced innovation: some evidence from the first IT regime," Chapters,in: Applied Evolutionary Economics and Complex Systems, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Geoffrey Hodgson & Thorbjørn Knudsen, 2004. "The firm as an interactor: firms as vehicles for habits and routines," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 281-307, July.
    10. Witt, Ulrich, 1998. "Imagination and leadership - The neglected dimension of an evolutionary theory of the firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 161-177, April.
    11. Dosi, Giovanni, 1997. "Opportunities, Incentives and the Collective Patterns of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1530-1547, September.
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    13. Radner, Roy, 2000. "Costly and Bounded Rationality in Individual and Team Decision-Making," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(4), pages 623-658, December.
    14. 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.
    15. Massini, Silvia & Lewin, Arie Y. & Numagami, Tsuyoshi & Pettigrew, Andrew M., 2002. "The evolution of organizational routines among large Western and Japanese firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1333-1348, December.
    16. Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    17. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    18. Richard R. Nelson, 1995. "Recent Evolutionary Theorizing about Economic Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 48-90, March.
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    Keywords

    theory of the firm; complexity; routines; change of routines;

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