Organizational Genealogy: Boundaries and Extensions of the Biological Metaphor
Howard, Michael Deane
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Management scholars have long sought to understand the genesis of core strategies and practices that are selected at the formation of new entrepreneurial ventures. Past work has drawn from the biological sciences, invoking genealogy in an effort to better define the legacy benefits passed from parent firms to their associated progeny, the new ventures formed when employees leave to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. This dissertation proposes new avenues for understanding the extensions and limitations of the genetic metaphor. Foundations of population ecology are linked to areas such as founding team dynamics and managerial cognition to study the conditions under which the routines and practices, or "genes" of the parent firm will be propagated. A summary of the field of organizational genealogy and two empirical research studies are presented.