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

Wilson, J. and Hynes, N. (2009) Co-evolution of firms and strategic alliances : theory and empirical evidence. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 76 (5). pp. 620-628. ISSN 0040-1625

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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.