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Darwinism, organizational evolution and survival: key challenges for future research

Abatecola, G., Belussi, F., Breslin, D. & Filatotchev, I. (2016). Darwinism, organizational evolution and survival: key challenges for future research. Journal of Management and Governance, 20(1), pp. 1-17. doi: 10.1007/s10997-015-9310-8


How do social organizations evolve? How do they adapt to environmental pressures? What resources and capabilities determine their survival within dynamic competition? Charles Darwin’s seminal work The Origin of Species (1859) has provided a significant impact on the development of the management and organization theory literatures on organizational evolution. This article introduces the JMG Special Issue focused on Darwinism, organizational evolution and survival. We discuss key themes in the organizational evolution research that have emerged in recent years. These include the increasing adoption of the co-evolutionary approach, with a particular focus on the definition of appropriate units of analysis, such as routines, and related challenges associated with exploring the relationship between co-evolution, re-use of knowledge, adaptation, and exaptation processes. We then introduce the three articles that we have finally accepted in this Special Issue after an extensive, multi-round, triple blind-review process. We briefly outline how each of these articles contributes to understanding among scholars, practitioners and policy makers of the continuous evolutionary processes within and among social organizations and systems.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Publisher Keywords: Darwinism, Adaptation, Co-evolution, Exaptation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
Text - Accepted Version
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