11.3 Why is Business Administration Still Not an Evolutionary Science?

  • Johan Kask Örebro University
  • Tobias Johansson Mälardalen University
  • Dermot Breslin University of Sheffield
  • Gianpaolo Abatecola University of Rome Tor Vergata
  • Matteo Cristofaro University of Rome Tor Vergata
Keywords: Evolutionary Approach, Ecosystem Approaches, Co-Evolution, Dynamic Research, Systems Thinking, Open Adaptive Systems, Organizational Evolution, Practice Evolution


Nowadays, it is increasingly often addressed that the object of study (e.g. organisations, technologies, routines, or actors) in an institutionalized, complex, and adaptive world (e.g. ecosystems, networks, and industries) "evolves" or "co-evolves". But, what does it mean? Has it just become an introductory jargon reflecting “late modernity”, that bears little impact on theorizing and method (most research still uses static theories and cross-sectional methods)? And, how can we fruitfully advance theory and methods toward taking dynamism and processes of change into account? This track aims to advance theory and method on the growing body of (co-) evolutionary-oriented research spanning across all sub-disciplines of business administration studies. In the production of knowledge toward more of evolutionary approaches, we encourage the exploration of a wide range of methods, theories, and perspectives, as well as discussions on how these can advance research and practice in the sub-disciplines.


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