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The Evolution of Darwinism in Business Studies

15 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2008  

Rachel F. Baskerville

Victoria University of Wellington - School of Accounting and Commercial Law

Date Written: July 4, 2006

Abstract

The current invocation of Darwin in accounting research is not matched to the earliest invocations of Darwinism in accounting and economics. The study has two objectives: firstly, to document the change from Darwinism meaning 'the scientific method' (as used by Veblen and Stamp) to Darwinism meaning "survival of the fittest". Secondly, to describe Lamarckism as the more correct descriptor of cultural evolution than Darwinism. Veblen and Stamp were not concerned with Lamarckian or Darwinian processes; "Darwinism" equated with a "scientific" method based on extensive observation of data and an appreciation of the merits of a qualitative approach. It is an objective of this paper to draw attention to the distinction between these two modus operandi, that the casual invocation of Darwinism rampant in research addressing issues in evolutionary economics and accounting might be lessened. Lamarckism deserves to be better recognized as providing the correct understanding of the evolutionary drivers to selective, purposive, adaptive, and deterministic evolution by our markets, institutions, or firms.

Keywords: Darwinism, Veblen, Stamp, Lamarkism

JEL Classification: B19, M41

Suggested Citation

Baskerville, Rachel F., The Evolution of Darwinism in Business Studies (July 4, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1188876 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1188876

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

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