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
Date Written: 2013
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: Suggested Citation