The SAGE Handbook of Process Organization Studies provides a comprehensive and timely overview of the field. This volume offers a compendium of perspectives on process thinking, process organizational theory, process research methodology and empirical applications. The emphasis is on a combination of pedagogical contributions and in-depth reviews of current thinking and research in each of the selected areas, combined with the development of agendas for future research. The Handbook is divided into five sections: Part One: Process Philosophy Part Two: Process Theory Part Three: Process Methodology Part Four: Process Applications Part Five: Process Perspectives
Chapter 13: Evolutionary Theory
Contrary to the impression given by their widespread usage, terms such as ‘evolutionary theory’ lack consensus or clarity concerning their meaning.1 After briefly surveying this vagueness and confusion, this chapter attempts to establish a robust framework for analyzing organizational evolution. One comprehensive framework is inspired by Darwin. Its core principles entail the need to explain variation, selection, and retention (or inheritance). But contrary to much casual incantation of ‘variation, selection, and retention', these terms are complex and require much clarification, with reference to a substantial theoretical and philosophical literature on these concepts. It is also necessary to rebut some objections. The chapter outlines these core principles and establishes their relevance for the study of organizations.
The word ‘evolution’ derives from ...