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Firm development as an integrated process: with evidence from the General Motors-Fisher Body case

Dietrich, M. and Krafft, J. (2011) Firm development as an integrated process: with evidence from the General Motors-Fisher Body case. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 21 (4). pp. 665-668. ISSN 0936-9937


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This paper argues that an adequate approach to the firm should be able to accommodate the complexities of actual firm development. The latter is conceptualized in terms of three general stages: prime movers or drivers of change, change processes, and change attractors. Furthermore, any "real-world" firm is both a technical and an institutional unit. To emphasize the importance of "real firm" analysis, the discussion presented here revolves around an understanding of the much considered case of General Motors and Fisher Body integration has developed over time. Generalization from this case suggests that an integrated view of the firm is necessary that combines the three stages and the two bases (technical and institutional). Six general perspectives on the firm are identified as having technical or institutional bases that are relevant in each of the three stages. This integrated approach to the firm is explored in terms of the general topic of firm development. It is concluded that, without an integrated approach to firm development, a potentially biased or incomplete analysis can result.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2011 Springer. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Journal of Evolutionary Economics. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Economics of the firm; Firm development; Vertical integration
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Economics (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2011 08:52
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:34
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00191-010-0195-z
Status: Published
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1007/s00191-010-0195-z
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43290

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