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Using Old Concepts to Gain New Insights: Addressing the Issue of Consistency

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Jones, CD (2007) Using Old Concepts to Gain New Insights: Addressing the Issue of Consistency. Management Decision, 45 (1). pp. 29-42. ISSN 0025-1747

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Abstract

Purpose of the paper: This paper aims to go beyond a bookkeeping approach to evolutionary analysis whereby surviving firms are better adapted and extinct firms were less adapted. From discussion of the preliminary findings of research into the Hobart pizza industry, evidence is presented of the need to adopt a more traditional approach to applying evolutionary theories with organizational research.

Methodology/Approach: After a brief review of the relevant literature, the preliminary findings of research into the Hobart pizza industry are presented. Then, several evolutionary concepts that are common place in ecological research are introduced to help explain the emergent findings. The paper concludes with consideration given too advancing a more consistent approach to employing evolutionary theories within organizational research.

Findings: The process of selection can not be assumed to occur evenly across time and/or space. Within geographically small markets different forms of selection operate in different ways and degrees requiring the use of more traditional evolutionary theories to highlight the causal process associated with population change.

Research Implications: The paper concludes by highlighting Geoffery Hodgson's Principle of Consistency. It is demonstrated that a failure to truly understand how and why theory is used in one domain will likely result in its misuse in another domain. That at present, too few evolutionary concepts are employed in organisational research too ensure an appreciation of any underlying causal processes through which social change occurs.

What is the original/value of paper: The concepts introduced throughout this paper, whilst not new, provide new entry points for organizational researchers intent of employing an evolutionary approach to understand the process of social change.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Selection, Adaptation, Selective Environmental Neighbourhoods and the Principle of Consistency
Journal or Publication Title: Management Decision
Page Range: pp. 29-42
ISSN: 0025-1747
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1108/00251740710718944
Additional Information:

Copyright 2007 Emerald Group. Reproduced in accordance with the publishers policy. The definitive published version is available online at:http://www.emeraldinsight.com/info/journals/md/md.jsp

Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:13
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