Does Darwin Belong in Business? The Danger and Comfort of the Evolutionary Metaphor

Victoria University, Wellington, NZ, Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research Working Paper No. 44

10 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2008 Last revised: 2 Oct 2008

See all articles by Rachel F. Baskerville

Rachel F. Baskerville

Victoria University of Wellington - School of Accounting and Commercial Law

Winnie O'Grady

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

The metaphor of Darwinism has been extensively researched and analysed in other research disciplines. The usage of the biological metaphor of Darwinism in IT related headlines is documented and reviewed. The use of the Darwinian metaphor in business studies has changed from its usage by Veblen and Stamp as a descriptor for the scientific method. More recently its meaning has been transformed to synonymy with the struggle for existence. The use of this metaphor in IT carries with it a reassurance, which can endanger consumer requirements for performance and accountability.

Keywords: Metaphor, Darwinism, IT survival of the fittest, Veblen, Stamp

JEL Classification: M50

Suggested Citation

Baskerville, Rachel F. and O'Grady, Winnie, Does Darwin Belong in Business? The Danger and Comfort of the Evolutionary Metaphor (2007). Victoria University, Wellington, NZ, Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research Working Paper No. 44, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1153707 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1153707

Rachel F. Baskerville (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - School of Accounting and Commercial Law ( email )

Faculty of Commerce and Administration
PO Box 600
Wellington
New Zealand
006444636951 (Phone)
006444635076 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sacl/staff/rachel-baskerville.aspx

Winnie O'Grady

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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