Disruptive Evolution: Harnessing Functional Excess, Experimentation, and Science as Tool
Industrial and Corporate Change
31 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2023 Last revised: 8 Mar 2023
Date Written: March 1, 2023
We explore the limitations of the adaptationist view of evolution and propose an alternative. While gradual adaptation can explain some biological and economic diversity, it cannot account for radical innovation (especially during the past 10,000 years). We argue that ubiquitously available but dormant “functional excess” provides the raw material for evolutionary disruptions. Harnessing this excess requires directed experimentation and what we call “protoscientific” problem solving. We highlight the critical implications of these arguments for evolutionary economics and strategy.
Keywords: evolution, function, innovation, disruption, artificial selection, evolutionary economics, strategy
JEL Classification: C63, D8, D83, L1, L2, P00, B25
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation