Changing Assumptions and Progressive Change in Theories of Strategic Organization

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


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.

Publication information

Original languageEnglish
JournalStrategic Organization
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)410–422
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2017

    Research areas

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

ID: 45429294