Addressing path dependency in the capabilities approach : historicism and foresight meet on the road less travelled

Masrani, Swapnesh K. and McKiernan, Peter; Constanzo, Laura Anna and Mackay, Robert Bradley, eds. (2009) Addressing path dependency in the capabilities approach : historicism and foresight meet on the road less travelled. In: Handbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, pp. 485-505. ISBN 978-1-84542-963-8

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    Abstract

    The chapter challenges the commonly held notion in the capabilities approach, arising out of over emphasis on path dependency, that capability development follows a single path dependent route, which is determined positively by interrelatedness among existing technologies. It queries the fascination especially within the empirical literature with examining a single, successful choice. The chapter argues, like Penrose (1959) and Hamel and Prahalad (1994), that a firm seldom considers only one strategic capability development route. Often, a route is chosen from a bounded option set, anchored by the ‘do- nothing’ default. This is supported by empirical case evidence, which also suggests that, in some instances, technological interrelatedness is not a major factor influencing the development of capabilities from the available options.

    ORCID iDs

    Masrani, Swapnesh K. and McKiernan, Peter ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0205-9124; Constanzo, Laura Anna and Mackay, Robert Bradley