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Problems at the Foundation? Comments on Felin and Foss

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 January 2011

Deloitte and Touche Professor of Management, Emeritus, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA 19104-6370, USA


This paper reviews the assessment of the routines and capabilities literature provided by T. Felin and N. J. Foss, ‘The Endogenous Origins of Experience, Routines and Organizational Capabilities: The Poverty of Stimulus’, published by the Journal of Institutional Economics. Although valuable points are raised, the assessment is largely off target because it is fixated on the implausible view that the literature assessed is strongly shaped by the tradition of behavioral psychology (B. F. Skinner and others). At the same time, important portions of the routines and capabilities literature that are highly relevant to the authors’ substantive concerns, and which are plainly inconsistent with the main interpretive claim, are not considered.

Research Article
Copyright © The JOIE Foundation 2011

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