- List of Contributors
- Introduction: The Need for Meta-theoretical Reflection in Organization Theory
- Organization Theory as a Positive Science
- Organization Theory as an Interpretive Science
- Organization Theory as a Critical Science? Forms of Analysis and ‘New Organizational Forms’
- Organization Theory as a Postmodern Science
- The Origins of Organization Theory
- The Historical and Epistemological Foundations of Organization Theory: Fusing Sociological Theory with Engineering Discourse
- Feminist Theory and Organization Theory: A Dialogue on New Bases
- The Styles and the Stylists of Organization Theory
- Pluralism, Scientific Progress, and the Structure of Organization Theory
- The Agency/Structure Dilemma in Organization Theory: Open Doors and Brick Walls
- Modes of Explanation in Organization Theory
- Micro and Macro Perspectives in Organization Theory: A Tale of Incommensurability
- Economic versus Sociological Approaches to Organization Theory
- Meta-theoretical Controversies in Studying Organizational Culture
- Actionable Knowledge
- Theory and Practice in the Real World
- Organization Theory and Ethics: Varieties and Dynamics of Constrained Optimization
- Character and Virtue in an Era of Turbulent Capitalism
- The Future of Organization Theory: Prospects and Limitations
- Managing Organization Futures in a Changing World of Power/Knowledge
- The Future of Organization Studies: Beyond the Selection–Adaptation Debate
- At Home from Mars to Somalia: Recounting Organization Studies
- New Times, Fresh Challenges: Reflections on the Past and the Future of Organization Theory
Abstract and Keywords
This article explores the coevolution perspective as a new meta-theoretical lens for research in organization studies and for reintegrating organization theory and strategy. It is believed that coevolution frameworks will inform research in organization studies, that spans levels of analyses and involves adaptation or change over time. This article states that coevolution frameworks could prove especially useful for progress on bridging the adaptation-selection chasm and for developing insights into the mutation process of incumbent organizations. The coevolution meta-theoretical lens has the potential for integrating micro- and macro-level evolution within a unifying framework, incorporating multiple levels of analyses and contingent effects, and leading to new insights, new theories, new empirical methods, and new understanding. In conclusion, this article argues that advances in organization studies require moving beyond the adaptation-selection debate and should emerge from building and testing coevolutionary theories.
Arie Y. Lewin is Professor of Strategy and International Business at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, US.
Henk W. Volberda is Professor of Strategic Management and Business Policy and Chairman of the Department of Strategic Management & Business Environment, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, where he teaches strategic management, strategy implementation, corporate entrepreneurship, and strategic flexibility He has been a visiting scholar at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and City University Business School, London. Professor Volberda obtained his doctorate cum laude in Business Administration of the University of Groningen. His research on organizational flexibility and strategic change received the NCD Award 1987, the ERASM Research Award 1994, the Erasmus University Research Award 1997, and the Igor Ansoff Strategic Management Award 1993. For his work on alliance capabilities (together with Ard-Pieter de Man and Johan Draulans) he received the Dutch ROA Award 1999 (best consultancy article). Moreover, his research on absorptive capacity and internal networks (together with Raymond van Wijk and Frans van den Bosch) received an honorable mention of the McKinsey/SMS Best Conference Paper Prize. Professor Volberda has worked as a consultant for many large European corporations and published in many refereed books and journals. He is director of the Erasmus Strategic Renewal Program, programme director of the Erasmus Institute of Management (ERIM), board member of the VSB (Dutch Strategic Management Society), board member of the Rotterdam School of Management, secretary of the Dutch-Flemish Academy of Management, and external adviser of Stroeve securities bank. He is also editor-in-chief of M&O and Management Select, senior editor of Long Range Planning, and member of the Editorial Board of Organization Science and Tijdschrift voor Bedrijfsadministratie (TBA). His book, Building the Flexible Firm: How to Remain Competitive (1998), published by Oxford University Press, received wide acclaim. His new book, together with Tom Elfring, Rethinking Strategy (2001) has been published recently.
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