Strategy and Innovation as Evolutionary Learning between Capabilities and Routines

22 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2010 Last revised: 20 Dec 2013

See all articles by Carl Henning Reschke

Carl Henning Reschke

Institute for Management Research Cologne

Date Written: February 16, 2010


Strategy and innovation involves interpretation and learning to develop and adapt an organisation’s actions and reactions to ‘environmental’ challenges. This involves dealing with complex, interrelated structures in social and material spheres, which are the historically grown outcomes of the systematization of past learning in hierarchically organised modules. This paper draws together research and perspectives to find a common micro-level basis for learning in strategy and innovation as systematization of information in hierarchically organised, modular systems. Conceptually, it is based upon a ‘epistemological-cognitive’ interpretation of evolution as learning process that accumulates information and transforms it into ‘knowledge’ via codification and structural organisation of this knowledge. To do so, we refer systemic evolutionary theory and develop a micro-level perspective for social systems on learning in actors and develop tentative links on how the processes may be linked to the constructs of organisational capabilities and routines.

Keywords: Dynamic Capabilities, Routines, Strategy, Innovation, Learning, Microfoundation, Evolution, Cognition

Suggested Citation

Reschke, Carl Henning, Strategy and Innovation as Evolutionary Learning between Capabilities and Routines (February 16, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Carl Henning Reschke (Contact Author)

Institute for Management Research Cologne ( email )

Mainzer Str. 80
Cologne, 50678


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