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Feb 18, 2014:  Inaugural MOR Frontiers Conference in Hong Kong

Management Organization Review has a new editor: Arie Lewin. Professor Lewin has many plans for taking the journal to the next level. One of them is to hold an annual conference to explore new ideas. MOR will hold its first Frontiers Conference “Globalization of Knowledge Creation and Innovation in the Context of Emerging Economies” in Honk Kong Dec 4-7, 20214. Here is the call for your participation.

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June 20, 2013: Steve Klepper in Memoriam

We are all very sad that Steve passed away (See CMU obituary). Seven Klepper supported one of the senior scholars supporting the creation of economic-eovlution.net from the very beginning. On March 23, there was at event as part of the 20th anniversary of the CCC to honor Steve. He was able to attend the day and you can watch the tributes that were made about it exemplary contributions. Honoring Steve Klepper Video

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May 29, 2013: Announcing “Letters from China”

Your editor is traveling to China. The goal of the visit is to get a deeper understanding of what the future of China will likely look like. More specifically, the purpose is to become more knowledgeable about whether China will become the world leader in high-tech industries and if so how.  Read his “Letters from China.”

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Jan 22, 2013: Emerging Scholar Workshop: Evolutionary Perspectives on Strategic Management

The Mack Center for Technological Innovation at the Wharton School will put on for the 2nd time a new week-long workshop for emerging scholars in the field. The workshop is designed for scholars ranging from students who are completing the second year of doctoral studies to those who have recently completed a doctorate. Participants will learn from leading scholars in the field.  The program will consist of a mix of seminar discussion and short presentations by participants reflecting their research interests and reactions to the seminar discussions. The program will begin on Sunday, June 23rd and end on Friday June 28th.  Each day will consist of a three hour workshop lead by an individual faculty member on the indicated theme, followed by broader group discussion. Deadline for application Feb 15, 2013. More details here.

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September 8, 2012: History and Strategy

The new volume of “Advances in Strategic Management” entitled “History and Strategy” is focused on bringing about stronger integration of history in strategy research. Edited by Steven Kahl, Brian Silverman, and Michael Cusumano, the book contains 10 articles that sketch how this deeper integration could come about. If you university library subscribes to Emerald, you can download the chapters from the Table of Contents.

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May 15, 2012: Perspectives and Reflections on Nelson & Winter (1982)

The 9th Atlanta Competitive Advantage Conference had a panel to celebrate the publication of Nelson and Winter’s 1982 landmark book. The panel included Sid Winter, Connie Helfat, L.G.Thomas III, and Johann Peter Murmann. The slides from the panelists are here: Helfat’s Presentation Slides
Murmann’s Presentation Slides
Thomas’s Presentation Slides

From the vault:  Winter on Nelson (2000)
Nelson on Winter (2003)

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March 26, 2012: New Work on Coevolution

Johann Peter Murmann has published an inductive case study entitled Coevolution of Industries and Important Features of Their Environments. Using a comparative historical method and drawing on evidence from five countries over a 60-year period, this paper spells out how coevolutionary processes work in shaping the evolution of industries and important features of their environments.Read the abstract and download paper here.

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Jan 26, 2012 Emerging Scholar Workshop: Evolutionary Perspectives on Strategic Management

The Mack Center for Technological Innovation at the Wharton School will put on a new week-long workshop for emerging scholars in the field. The workshop is designed for scholars ranging from students who are completing the second year of doctoral studies to those who have recently completed a doctorate. Participants will learn from leading scholars in the field.  The program will consist of a mix of seminar discussion and short presentations by participants reflecting their research interests and reactions to the seminar discussions. The program will begin on Sunday, June 24th and end on Friday June 29th.  Each day will consist of a three hour workshop lead by an individual faculty member on the indicated theme, followed by broader group discussion. Deadline for application Feb1, 2012. More details here.

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Nov 14, 2011: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates retell the history of the PC industy

In 2007, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates appeared for a joint interview at the Wall Street Journal “All Things Digital Conference.” The provide fascinating insights into the strategic thought of tow chief protagonists of the PC revolution in computing.  Watch them here.

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August 20, 2011

Evolutionists predict that firm failures rates are high. I have reported failure rates ranging from 61 to 88% for the synthetic dye industry in different countries (Murmann & Homburg, 2001). 75% percent of all new ventures are often reported without reference to the underlying data. Here is some data on venture backed firms, that means firms that are seen as very promising.
A recent, large-scale study by William Sahlman, an advisor at several large venture capital firms and a Harvard Business School professor of Entrepreneurial Management, reveals that the failure rate of professional venture firms over the past 15 years has been around 60%, up from 35% in the 1980s. In other words, more high-potential ventures fail than succeed. The good news, says Sahlman, is that the economy and culture of the United States encourage entrepreneurial risk-taking. Failure doesn’t mean “Game over.” It means “Try again, with experience.”
From Bigthink

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December 28, 2010

The product development at Saturday Night Life is perfectly consistent with the evolutionary predictions: Through out the week, that writing team comes up with about 800 jokes. On Friday night, they sit together and whittle it all the way down to the 100 jokes they like best, and out of that 100 the producer picks about 30. And out of that 30—- of the initial 800 jokes written during the week—- only about 16 or 20 jokes make it to a Saturday Night Live broadcast.

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August 28, 2010

Chris Freeman, one of the great scholars of the economics of science and technology, has died. Read the remembrances of colleagues, students and readers here.  Luc Soete’s, for example, writes: Over those fifty or so last years Chris influenced thousands of researchers, policy makers and students across the world in the fields of science and public policy, research and development measurement, the history of social science studies, Schumpeterian and evolutionary economics, research evaluation, innovation management, technology and innovation policy as well as in making both macro- and micro-economics, international trade and economic history more aware of the central role of technological, institutional and social change. Funnily enough, he did so, not by using Information and Communication Technologies, which he had studied so much, but through personal contact, through being available to all without any exclusion and through his openness to alternative views and ideas. Obituaries. A list of all his publication is here.

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July 17, 2010

Edge.org published a stimulating interview with W. Brian Arthur on his new book, The Nature of Technology. After autobiographical comments that may not interest all readers, Arthur gives an overview how the economy evolves as a consequence of postiive and negative feedback mechanism. He then moves on to this idea of technological innovations.  Students of history of technology will not find that Arthur’s theory is particular novel. (To get a sense, the great historian Payson Abbot Usher has conceptualized technological change in 1929/1945, read the review essay of A History of Mechanical Invention on Eh.net.) Arthur, consisent with the theory of innovation that sees them as recombining elements in new ways, marries old ideas with novel ones that come out of complexity theory. For a recent overview paper of the best ideas for studying relationship between technological and industrial evolution, read Murmann and Frenken.

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June 5, 2010

The full program of the Schumpeter Society Meeting in Aalborg, Denkmark is now posted.

Update June 22: Full papers of conferene are available here.
Photos from the Conference are now up.    Gallery 1    Gallery 2

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May 2, 2010

Agnus Maddison died. What economic historian has not relied on his historical GDP time series? Read the informative obituary in the Economist.

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March 26, 2010

A workshop bringing together Business Historians and Evolutionary Economists is taking place at Trinity College in Dublin.  Oveview information on the workshop and the presentation sldies have been posted in the discussion forum

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Introducing Economic Evolution Net

For a number of years, we have planned a complementary website to Evolutionary Theories in the Social Sciences that would serve as a central resource and meeting place for people who interested in empirical research on economic change. The English language features of Economic-Evolution.Net are now fully implemented. We recently finished the EEpedia, which functions as a collaborative encyclopedia collecting empirical facts on economic evolution.  We have also added a software tool for a collaborative bibliography. Finally, we have created a convenient list of data sources to be used in research on economic evolution.  Explore these feature by clicking on the menus to your left. To allow people who are not comfortable writing in English to participate in the EEpedia project, we are presently creating the German, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish language versions of the EEpedia. Other language versions will follow later.  If you want to receive automatic emails about new book reviews, data sources, conferences or working papers, can you subscribe to this service here.

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November 15, 2009

Richard Nelson gave an interview in June 2002 to Margherita Fronte that still makes a good read today. In the interview, he explains why he developed evolutionary economics, discusses the relationship between science and technolgy, and takes a stand on what kinds of inventions should be patentable. Click on Read more for the full interview or go the website of the Fondazine Bassetti.

Read more...

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August 30, 2009

Telock does us the service of giving a close reading of three books that what to overcome the obstacle that Yogi Berra identified in his qib: “Prediction is very hard, especially about the future.”

The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing by Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat.

The Predictioneer’s Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman

Read Telock’s excellent review at National Interest.

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January 18, 2009

The Economist describes how the current strength of the the jet engine business come about. An understanding of the firm’s success requires some understanding of the technology that goes into its civil-aircraft engines. This is not just Rolls-Royce’s biggest business, it is also the one that both felled the company in 1971 and proved to be its salvation two decades later, Rolls-Royce’s triumph was not to build a slightly better engine and thus earn a temporary technological edge, but to design a completely different one. Remarkably, it did so from a position of weakness.

Read more...

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April 20, 2008

A symposium on the Varieties of Knowledge in the Economy with Carliss Baldwin, Richard Langois, Johann Peter Murmann and Richard Nelson will take place at the Schumpeter Conference in Brazil.  More Details.

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July 15, 2007

Robert Solow reviews Thomas K. Mccraw’s new biography of Joseph Schumpeter in the New Republic. Read the review of Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction. Richard Langlois has also published a very useful review on EH.net.

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August 1, 2006

The Comparative Industry Studies (CIS) Project
Evolutionary economists have articulated powerful theories about how industries change. During the last twenty years economists, sociologists, and business school scholars have begun to study empirically how particular industries develop over long periods of time. Because scholars frequently do not analyze the same aspects (variables), it often difficult to compare systematically across industries and figure out what causes lie behind the similarities and differences in patters of industry evolution.

To make it easier in future studies to compare across industries and come up with causal explanations, we need to formulate an analytical framework, i.e. a common list of characteristics that future studies could trace. Such a framework needs to combines concepts from traditional industrial organization economics, evolutionary economics, innovation studies, and institutional theory broadly defined. Participate in formulating this framework by going to the Comparative Industry Studies Project page in the EEpedia.

November 02, 2004

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Knowledge and Competitive Advantage: The Coevolution of Firms, Technology, and National Institutions

Johann Peter Murmann compares the development of the synthetic dye industry in Great Britain, Germany, and the United States through the lenses of evolutionary theory. As Murmann demonstrates, a complex coevolutionary process linking firms, technology, and national institutions resulted in very different degrees of industrial success among the dye firms in the three countries. The book won Joseph Schumpter Prize and the Stanley Reiter in 2004. Download Introductory Chapter

August 2004

Timur Kuran has written a fascinating paper on Why the Middle East is economically underdeveloped.  Anyone interested in social evolution will find this timely paper worth reading.  Download Paper

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