`Rodolphe Durand has a compelling message for the growing community of evolutionary researchers in organization studies. Evolutionary researchers need to attend more carefully to historical and contemporary debates in the biological sciences if they are to avoid false tracks and simplisitic analogies. Durand offers here the foundations of a distinctive and authentic evolutionary theory that takes organizations seriously for what they are' - Richard Whittington, Oxford University `This book fills an important gap in the study of organizations and strategy from an evolutionary perspective. It offers a synthetic approach to evolutionary analysis with grounded empirical examples that graduate students and seasoned scholars alike will find immensely useful. Durand's OES model, rooted in a critical examination of philosophical and scientific writings on evolution, is particularly promising and provides a valuable guidepost for future research on organizations and strategic management' - Michael Lounsbury, University of Alberta How is economic evolutionary theory, in which organisations evolve according to environmental selection, reconciled with evidence of strategic management? This book is the first of its kind to propose a solution to this theoretical puzzle and engage readers in a balanced understanding of organizational evolution. Rodolphe Durand embarks upon a fresh assessment of the literature. His discoveries provide the foundation for a new theory of organizational selection and an organizational evolution and strategy model that reconciles economic evolution with strategic intentionality. Chapters include an examination of the work by Lamarck, Darwin and Spencer; a constructive appraisal of evolutionary theory applied to organisations and a summary of how the organizational evolution and strategy model will affect future theory and research. - An associated web site with further information can be found at: http://studies.hec.fr/web/durand
Chapter 4: Evolutionary Models in Organizational Theory
Evolutionary Models in Organizational Theory
Whereas for the numerous small firms in the parallel ecologies, bankruptcy can probably be assumed to be selecting for competence …, for the large heterogeneous conglomerates, subfirms may be protected from the bankruptcies they deserve. (Campbell, 1994: 34)
This chapter brings to the fore three crucial issues: first, the overlooked assumptions and epistemological status of the Variation-Selection-Retention (VSR) model; secondly, the complex genealogy of evolutionary ideas within three classical evolutionary research streams; and thirdly, the contributions and limits of the coevolutionary approach. This chapter is pivotal to the construction of the Checklist Appraisal Grid for evolutionary models.
First, noting that organizational theory integrates sociological perspectives in the study of organizational evolution, the chapter begins with the VSR model ...