Firm transformation: Advancing a Darwinian perspective

Jones, Colin (2005) Firm transformation: Advancing a Darwinian perspective. Management Decision, 43(1), pp. 13-25.

View at publisher


Purpose of the paper: The paper advocates a Darwinian explanation of the process of firm transformation. Existing, but generally opposing views related to the selection-adaptation debates are united to consider the dialogic nature of both approaches. It is argued that a Darwinian approach, as opposed to a neo-Darwinian or Lamarckian approach provides the means to scale the sides of a debate that has for too long divided scholars interested in firm and industry transformation. Approach: The paper addresses three specific issues to develop its Darwinian argument. Firstly, the various work of Geoff Hodgson that have for many years advanced Darwin's evolutionary ideas are used to argue the nature and application of Darwinism in the socio-economic domain. Secondly, the nature of what constitutes the elements of firm-environment interaction is considered to establish basic areas of focus through which the process of firm transformation is more understandable. Lastly, the construct absorptive capacity is likened to a mechanism of transmission through which the learning processes associated with the acquisition of favoured variations can be reconciled with the generic evolutionary processes of variation, selection, and retention. Findings: To understand the process of firm learning, the role of habits and routines must be outlined in specific detail. They cannot be assumed to perform interacting and replicating roles simultaneously. To do so, undermines the fundamental qualities of an evolutionary theory. What is the original/value of paper: The preliminary framework advanced takes us beyond the Darwinian - Lamarckian debate and provides elements of focus from which a greater understanding of the process of firm/industry transformation is possible.

Impact and interest:

17 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 92857
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Copyright 2005 Emerald Group. Reproduced in accordance with the publishers policy. The definitive published version is available online at:
Keywords: Firm Transformation, Darwinism, Lamarckism, Absorptive Capacity
DOI: 10.1108/00251740510572452
ISSN: 0025-1747
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisation and Management Theory (150310)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Deposited On: 15 Feb 2016 02:31
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2016 02:31

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page