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The evolution of retail formats from a common origin: Investigating a century of Swedish sporting goods retailing
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. (INTERORG)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9964-7717
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. (INTERORG)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6646-9798
2015 (English)In: Annual 15th EURAM Conference, 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Empirical studies that explicitly draw on a General Darwinism (GD) mode of explanation is hard to find and the field of management is hampered by the heterogeneity and mix of investigations subsumed under the general heading of ‘evolutionary theory’. Among the GD studies that do exist, most research efforts have been devoted to generalizing Darwinism away from biology, and to discuss how adaptive fit comes about thereby highlighting concepts rather than empirical research. Less focus has been directed towards the accumulation of design variety and evolution from a common origin. Particularly, the accumulation of design variety (such as business concepts, retail formats, and other socio-economic entities) from some common origin is painstakingly under-researched. This paper addresses this by drawing on a rich longitudinal case, reporting on the evolution of the sporting goods sector in Sweden during a century. The case serves as the empirical base for the application of GD to investigate the accumulation of design variety from a common origin in the sporting goods retail set; where the retail set is seen as an open adaptive multi-final system. Our findings indicate that being able to attain ‘closures’, that is, finding ways to close off a section of the sector, becomes a crucial resource for the individual actors. We discern the evolutionary mechanism taking the designs from generalists to specialists. It seems easier for the individual actor to become specialized if the resource context to which it needs to relate is smaller because it makes it easier to control and influence. Yet, this also implicates that this actor becomes more dependent on that particular resource context and also more susceptible to impact and influences from it. The relationship is reciprocal and specialisation always entails specialisation in relation to something – in our case to a closed off specific resource context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Generalized Darwinism, Case study
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-47832OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-47832DiVA: diva2:898947
Conference
15th European Academy of Management (EURAM) Annual Conference, Warzaw, Poland, June 17-20, 2015
Available from: 2016-01-29 Created: 2016-01-29 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf