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The Handbook of Technology and Innovation Management by Scott Shane

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1.4. Directions For Future Research

Combining these perspectives raises interesting research questions going forward. In some cases, these perspectives offer complementary explanations that enhance our understanding of the phenomena of interest here. In other cases, additional work is needed to tease out the contingencies that might reconcile conflicting perspectives.

One common theme in all three streams of literature, but particularly in the organization ecology and evolutionary economics perspectives, is the primacy of selection over adaptation. Organizational ecology originated because researchers wanted to identify environmental conditions rather than factors related to adaptation in determining failure rates (Hannan and Freeman, 1987, 1988). Ironically, although many evolutionary economists have implicitly moved away from the traditional structure-conduct-performance paradigm and the hypothesis of equilibrium when describing industry-level phenomena, they have done the opposite when theorizing about firm performance; their models of firm survival all focus on implications of life cycle stage conditions for firm advantages and performance. To be fair, each literature stream does attribute overall industry trends to the underlying firm conduct in terms of entry and exit from a focal industry, but there is scant attention to the conduct of firms while they are still in existence. Interestingly, several scholars examine firm evolution in parallel, with several of these studies ...

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