Changing Assumptions and Progressive Change in Theories of Strategic Organization

Nicolai J. Foss, Niklas L. Hallberg

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    A commonly held view is that strategic organization theories progress as a result of a Popperian process of bold conjectures and systematic refutations. However, our field also witnesses vibrant debates or disputes about the specific assumptions that our theories rely on, and although these debates are often decoupled from the results of empirical testing, changes in assumptions seem closely intertwined with theoretical progress. Using the case of the resource-based view, we suggest that progressive change in theories of strategic organization may come about as a result of scholarly debate and dispute over what constitutes proper assumptions—even in the absence of corroborating or falsifying empirical evidence. We also discuss how changing assumptions may drive future progress in the resource-based view.
    TidsskriftStrategic Organization
    Udgave nummer3
    Sider (fra-til)410–422
    Antal sider13
    StatusUdgivet - 2017


    • Dynamic capabilities
    • Firm performance
    • Industrial economics
    • Resource-based view
    • Strategy content