Addressing path dependency in the capabilities approach: historicism and foresight meet on the road less travelled

Swapnesh K. Masrani, Peter McKiernan

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    1 Citation (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    The chapter challenges the commonly held notion in the capabilities approach, arising out of over emphasis on path dependency, that capability development follows a single path dependent route, which is determined positively by interrelatedness among existing technologies. It queries the fascination especially within the empirical literature with examining a single, successful choice. The chapter argues, like Penrose (1959) and Hamel and Prahalad (1994), that a firm seldom considers only one strategic capability development route. Often, a route is chosen from a bounded option set, anchored by the ‘do- nothing’ default. This is supported by empirical case evidence, which also suggests that, in some instances, technological interrelatedness is not a major factor influencing the development of capabilities from the available options.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight
    EditorsLaura Anna Constanzo, Robert Bradley Mackay
    Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
    Chapter27
    Pages485-505
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2009

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    Keywords

    • path dependency
    • Dundee jute industry
    • organisational foresight

    Cite this

    Masrani, S. K., & McKiernan, P. (2009). Addressing path dependency in the capabilities approach: historicism and foresight meet on the road less travelled. In L. A. Constanzo, & R. B. Mackay (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight (pp. 485-505). Cheltenham, UK.