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Co-evolution of firms and strategic alliances: theory and empirical evidence

Wilson, J. and Hynes, N. (2008) Co-evolution of firms and strategic alliances: theory and empirical evidence. In: European Marketing Academy (EMAC) 37th Conference, 2008-05-27 - 2008-05-30.

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Abstract

This paper reviews the analogies of evolution and co-evolution within a business context. Specifically it examines some of the essential underlying assumptions of these theories including the unit of change, the unit of selection; the mechanism of selection, and the ability to change an organisational form. The usefulness of the application of theories of both evolution and co-evolution to explain firm behaviour is examined. Empirical evidence from the UK fresh produce industry is presented to illustrate that both firms and strategic alliances evolve, co-evolve and are subject to selection at individual, dyadic and group levels simultaneously.