Innovation and the Evolution of Industries: History-Friendly Models

Published Research

The disruptive impacts of technological innovation on established industrial structures has been one of the distinguishing features of modern capitalism. In this book, four leading figures in the field of Schumpeterian and evolutionary economic theory draw on decades of research to offer a new, ‘history-friendly’ perspective on the process of creative destruction.Read More

The Place of Entrepreneurship in “The Economics that Might Have Been”

Published Research

It is a familiar observation that entrepreneurship is not easily accommodated within the framework of neoclassical economic theory. Drawing inspiration from an ancient critique of neoclassicism by Veblen (Q J Econ 12(4):373–397, 1898), this paper attributes the difficulty to the tension between normative accounts of decision making (as in mainstream theory) and ideas of causation that are standard in the sciences.Read More

Hidden but in Plain Sight: The Role of Scale Adjustment in Industry Dynamics

Published Research

While much is understood about the general pattern of industry dynamics, a critical element underlying these dynamics, the rate of the expansion of individual firms, has been largely overlooked. We argue that the rate at which firms can reliably increase their scale of operations is a critical factor in understanding the structure of industries.Read More

The Future of Evolutionary Economics: Can We Break Out of the Beachhead?

Published Research

This essay contemplates the possible futures of evolutionary economics in terms of two contrasting images. In the first, the primary research emphasis of the future will continue to be on the topics that have interested evolutionary economists in the past, such as technological change, business behavior, and the role of institutions.Read More

Habit, Deliberation and Action: Strengthening the Microfoundations of Routines and Capabilities

Published Research

The proponents of the “microfoundations project” have advanced a number of criticisms of theories of organizational routines and capabilities. While the criticisms derive in part from philosophical or methodological premises that are open to serious question, and tend to ignore the empirical research on the subject, there remains a valid core concern about the foundational characterization of human nature.Read More

Core Team Member Sidney Winter Interviewed By Knowledge & Innovation Group

The Knowledge and Innovation Group interviewed Mack Center Core Team member Sidney Winter. In the interview professor Sidney Winter discusses the role of productive knowledge, characteristics of routines, organizational change and replication of knowledge. This interview is the first in the Knowledge Foundations series held by the Knowledge & InnovationRead More

A Hegelian Dialogue on the Micro-Foundations of Organizational Routines and Capabilities

Published Research

This paper aims to further the alignment among different theoretical approaches and future scholarship on the complex themes related to the micro-foundational processes characterizing the emergence and development of organizational routines and capabilities. It has been constructed with a typical Hegelian structure represented by a thesis, an antithesis and an attempt of a synthesis, each presented by different scholars.Read More

Capabilities: Their Origins and Ancestry

Published Research

In a statement that is relatively famous, considering its position at the back of an old book, Alfred Marshall remarked on the ‘the manifold influences of the element of time’. He noted the obstacles those influences pose to mathematical analysis (or, he said, any analysis) of a complex, ‘real life’ problem – and the tendencies to over-simplification that often result.Read More

The Dynamics of Wealth, Profit and Sustainable Advantage

Published Research

This paper shows how idiosyncratic resources can drive sustained profitability and persistent heterogeneity under competitive conditions. Generic inputs purchased in the market become idiosyncratic resources as the result of firms’ investments in customization.Read More

Capabilities: Structure, Agency and Evolution

Published Research

This paper examines conceptual issues and reviews empirical results bearing on the relationship between research approaches emphasizing organizational capabilities and those based in transaction cost economics (TCE)—or in organizational economics more generally.Read More

Purpose and Progress in the Theory of Strategy: Comments on Gavetti

Published Research

This article comments on the behavioral theory of strategy advanced in Gavetti. His proposal offers valuable insights into the cognitive aspects of strategy when leaders are trying for big wins. It provides less guidance for understanding the actual achievement of success, partly because it underestimates the role of serendipity and of contextual factors illuminated by prior strategy research.Read More

Wharton Technology Conference 2011

The 11th Annual Wharton Technology Conference was held on April 22-23, 2011. A special feature of this year’s conference was a panel discussion on technological change and industry evolution – with Sid Winter, Phil Anderson, and Rebecca Henderson. Anita McGahan, Lori Rosenkopf, Jackson Nickerson, Dan Levinthal, and Michael Lenox served as discussants. Darwin andRead More

Reproducing Knowledge: Inaccurate Replication and Failure in Franchise Organizations

Published Research

The recognition that better use of existing knowledge can enhance performance has spawned substantial interest in the replication of productive knowledge within organizations. An enduring belief is that when expanding by replication, organizations can and should strive to adapt to fit the salient characteristics of new environments.Read More