The last several years has witnessed a growing interaction between economists and sociologists engaged in the study of organizations' strategies. Economists and sociologists can gain real insight from these interactions. To date, however, these interactions have been to ad hoc and unfocused to bear any real fruit. This volume moves the discussion to the next level by focusing the discussion, and taking a step toward systematizing some of the relationships between economic and sociological approaches to strategic management. To accomplish this, the volume reprints four 'matched pairs' of influential articles on firms' strategies in economic sociology and strategic management and use these articles to frame a conversation between the articles' pioneering authors and other prominent researchers in strategic management and sociology working on closely-related research problems. Each pair of articles followed by provocative essays - inspired by the pairing - written by the articles' original authors.Two contextualizing commentaries penned by influential strategy and organizations researchers - one grounded in strategic management and one in economic sociology - extend each conversation. A reflective reply from the articles' authors concludes the conversation - for now. A framing introduction and concluding epilogue, written by volume editors Joel Baum and Frank Dobbin, set the stage both for the volume and for future conversations between the disciplines in strategic management.
Introduction. Economics meets sociology in strategic management (F. Dobbin, J.A.C. Baum). An Embarrassment of Riches. Towards an economic theory of the multiproduct firm (D.J. Teece). The spread of the multidivisional form among large firms, 1919-1979 (N. Fligstein). Economic and sociological perspectives on diversification and organizational structure (D.J. Teece). Alternative approaches to firm strategic behavior (N. Fligstein). Differentiation in business organizations (J. Freeman). The facts, Neil said, nothing but the facts - whose facts? answered David (B. Kogut). Common ground, different assumptions (D.J. Teece). All Happy Firms are the Same. The dominant logic: a new linkage between diversity and performance (C.K. Prahalad, R.A. Bettis). The iron cage revisited: institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields (P.J. DiMaggio, W.W. Powell). The iron cage is emptying, the dominant logic no longer dominates (R.A. Bettis). The sources of managerial logics (W.W. Powell). The structuration and destructuration of organizations and organizational fields (W.R. Scott). Where All the Firms are Above Average. Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage (J.B. Barney). Social structure and organizations (A.L. Stinchcombe). Context is crucial: commonalities, differences and subtle differences (J.B. Barney). On equilibrium, organizational form, and competitive strategy (A.L. Stinchcombe). "Luck," "leadership" and "strategy" (R.L. Henderson). Cause for optimism (C. Oliver). Finding Your Niche. Intraindustry structure and the ease of strategic change (S.M. Oster). Is there a future in diversity? The view from economics and sociology (S.M. Oster). Does the early bird get the worm? (H.C. White). The disciplinary divide has been bridged (S.M. Oster). Epilogue. Doing interdisciplinary research in strategic management - without a paradigm war (J.A.C. Baum, F. Dobbin).