Directed evolution in strategy and management sciences

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Abstract:

Evolution has long been a biological process "borrowed" by management sciences to define structural and procedural development in organizations. The theory of Darwinian Evolution in biology has existed for a long time and still (with modification) remains the main theory in life sciences. However in biotechnology new concepts have risen. In parallel, organization sciences have been evolving the concept of evolution on different levels of the organization, discussing the evolution of organization during their life cycle, the evolution of populations of organizations, sectors, etc. Directed evolution in biology creates new organisms that can produce molecules with attributes better fitting industrial use, from naturally occurring organisms, allowing new organisms to function in non-biological environments and perform processes they never needed to perform in a natural environment. We will show that by translating the concept from biology into organization sciences, we can develop the techniques for the evolution of new organizational structures and fitting routines, that would fit new emerging environments, where we seek the best adapted routines and structures for performance. We will adopt the concept of directly evolving a structure fitting for pre-designed purposes by using bio-technology methods, and will try and bridge the gap in organization sciences between the current development of the evolutionary theory and the advance made in biology. At the end discusses opportunities for research (the European Framework Program, national programs), together with a proposed general plan of action. The theory and the techniques descried can lead to further research and active experimentation.

Keywords: Biology; Biotechnology; Evolution; Organizations

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14636680310485212

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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