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Evolutionary Approaches to Innovation, the Firm, and the Dynamics of Industries


Abstract: We examine the progress of the evolutionary research on innovation, the firm, and the dynamics of industries in the last four decades. The paper acknowledges that the themes related to knowledge and technological regimes, the evolutionary processes leading to innovation, and the long-term dynamics of technologies have generated, and still remain, relevant research trajectories. The same can be said for the research trajectories on organizational and dynamic capabilities, evolutionary strategies, vertical integration, diversification, niche construction, and authority and power in organizations. Important progress has also been made in understanding the evolutionary trajectories of industries, the link between industry architecture and industry dynamics, the types of knowledge of entrants, the role of focal and vertical spinouts, the relevance of institutions and sectoral innovation systems in industry dynamics, and the catch-up process by firms from latecomer countries. We argue that future developments in the evolutionary camp should continue to be characterized by eclecticism and multidisciplinarity, as well as by the integration of different methodologies from cases to stylized facts, quantitative analyses, appreciative theorizing, and formal modelling. We conclude with an analysis of the main methodologies used by evolutionary scholars and a discussion of the road ahead.
Keywords: innovation / industry dynamics / firm / evolutionary / road / modelling / research trajectories

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