Breaking New Paths: Theory and Method in Path Dependence Research

Schmalenbach Business Review, Vol. 65, July 2013, pp. 288-311

24 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2013

See all articles by Leonhard Dobusch

Leonhard Dobusch

Department of Organization and Learning

Jakob Kapeller

University of Duisburg-Essen - Institute for Socio-Economics; University of Linz - Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy (ICAE)

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

We argue that the main reason for the prevailing dissent in path dependence research methods is the futile attempt to capture “path dependence as a whole” within either a single-method research design or a single all-encompassing theoretical mechanism. By delineating two conceptual building blocks, path creation/emergence and positive feedback/lock-in, which rest on different epistemological foundations, we advocate for the application of complementary methods. We further refine our argument by proposing a general axiomatic structure for path dependence as a theoretical concept, which allows us to derive more specific methodological suggestions.

Keywords: Contingency, Methodology, Path Dependence, Positive feedback, Testability

JEL Classification: B40, B52, D02, M10

Suggested Citation

Dobusch, Leonhard and Kapeller, Jakob, Breaking New Paths: Theory and Method in Path Dependence Research (2013). Schmalenbach Business Review, Vol. 65, July 2013, pp. 288-311, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2339905

Leonhard Dobusch (Contact Author)

Department of Organization and Learning ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15
Innsbruck, Innsbruck 6020
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uibk.ac.at/iol/index.html.en

Jakob Kapeller

University of Duisburg-Essen - Institute for Socio-Economics ( email )

Lotharstraße 65
Duisburg, 47057
Germany

University of Linz - Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy (ICAE) ( email )

Freistädterstraße 315
A-4040 Linz
Austria

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