Resource title

A Cultural theory of the firm: the intraorganizational ecology of Memes

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Theories of the firm seek to explain the ontology and genesis of business organizations. That is, they answer the question: What are firms and why do they exist? Existing theories of the firm, however, either combine parsimonious and elegant accounts of firm genesis with a shaky, narrowly essentialist, ontology (economic theories of the firm) or else provide a rich and nuanced ontology but without a suitably general and parsimonious developmental framework (knowledge-based views of the firm). The authors believe that a loss of parsimony and generality need not follow a gain in rich description when trying to answer these two fundamental questions about firms. In this paper they combine two seldom connected insights about firms: that they are cultural bodies and that they experience evolutionary processes. The authors use these insights to develop a novel and integrative interpretation of firms as an ecology of memes – units of culture – and then use this framework to explain firm development, adaptation, and genesis.

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en

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application/pdf

Resource resource URL

http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp2001/2001-79.pdf

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved