Research in the Strategic Theory of the Firm: ‘Isolationism’ and ‘Integrationism’

31 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2016

See all articles by Nicolai J. Foss

Nicolai J. Foss

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Strategy and Innovation

Date Written: November 1999

Abstract

It has been increasingly often argued that strategy research should aim for a ‘strategic theory of the firm’, that is, a theory explains the existence, boundaries, organization and competitive advantage of the firm within a unified theoretical framework. This paper discusses two archetypal strategies in research in the strategic theory of the firm, namely ‘isolationism’ and ‘integrationism’. While the former is representative of the positions that either the knowledge‐based view or the modern economics of organization can develop into full‐blown strategic theories of the firm, the integrationist strategy stresses that progress is more likely to emerge from a combination of insights and research procedures from both the knowledge‐based view and the modern economics of organization. The paper argues in favour of integrationism. In addition, the paper presents some novel criticisms of both the knowledge‐based view and the modern economics of organization.

Suggested Citation

Foss, Nicolai J., Research in the Strategic Theory of the Firm: ‘Isolationism’ and ‘Integrationism’ (November 1999). Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 36, Issue 6, pp. 725-755, 1999, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2734460 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-6486.00156

Nicolai J. Foss (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Strategy and Innovation ( email )

Kilen
Frederiksberg, 2000
Denmark

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