The Organizational Economics of Organizational Capability and Heterogeneity: A Research Agenda

37 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2012

See all articles by Nicholas Argyres

Nicholas Argyres

Washington University in St. Louis

Teppo Felin

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Nicolai J. Foss

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Todd Zenger

University of Utah

Date Written: February 23, 2012

Abstract

For decades, the literatures on firm capabilities and organizational economics have been at odds with each other, specifically relative to explaining organizational boundaries and heterogeneity. We briefly trace the history of the relationship between the capabilities literature and organizational economics and point to the dominance of a “capabilities first” logic in this relationship. We argue that capabilities considerations are inherently intertwined with questions about organizational boundaries and internal organization, and use this point to respond to the prevalent “capabilities first” logic. We offer an integrative research agenda that focuses, first, on the governance of capabilities and, second, on the capability of governance.

Keywords: Organizational economics, theory of the firm, heterogeneity, capabilities

JEL Classification: D23, D86, L14

Suggested Citation

Argyres, Nicholas and Felin, Teppo and Foss, Nicolai J. and Zenger, Todd R., The Organizational Economics of Organizational Capability and Heterogeneity: A Research Agenda (February 23, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2024937 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2024937

Nicholas Argyres (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1208
Saint Louis, MO MO 63130-4899
United States

Teppo Felin

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/teppofelin2/

Nicolai J. Foss

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Todd R. Zenger

University of Utah ( email )

David Eccles School of Business
1655 East Campus Center Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
801 585-3981 (Phone)
801 581-7939 (Fax)

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