A Cognitive Theory of the Firm


A Cognitive Theory of the Firm

Learning, Governance and Dynamic Capabilities

9781848442108 Edward Elgar Publishing
Bart Nooteboom, Professor Emeritus, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Publication Date: May 2009 ISBN: 978 1 84844 210 8 Extent: 296 pp
In this important and timely book, Bart Nooteboom develops and applies a social cognitive theory of firms and organizations with a focus on learning and innovation.
Winner of the Schumpeter Prize 2010

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In this important and timely book, Bart Nooteboom develops and applies a social cognitive theory of firms and organizations with a focus on learning and innovation.

Why explore a cognitive theory of the firm? This enlightening study explains that a cognitive theory of the firm is required in order to lend more substance and analysis to current vague and unconnected ad hoc notions in the literature, such as entrepreneurial vision, absorptive capacity, and variety and dispersion of knowledge. The author explores the notion of differential cognition, drawing together the work of Hayek, Schumpeter and Penrose to shed light on the sources of innovation.

This interdisciplinary book connects ideas from specific branches of economics, management and organization, cognitive science, social psychology and sociology and will be invaluable to students and scholars interested in a new perspective on the firm.
Critical Acclaim
‘. . . this book is an excellent resource of ideas and concepts to be mined and further developed in fields such as innovation, strategy, networks and others.’
– Brian Wixted, Science and Public Policy

‘. . . some excellent applications of contemporary scholarship to the major public sector innovation issues of the day. And, if you are more interested in cognitive psychology or evolutionary theory than public sector innovation, this book stands out as an excellent application of constructivist, cognitive evolutionary theory to a field in which you may previously have had little interest. Either way, the journey will have been worthwhile for anyone wishing to take it.’
– Howard A. Doughty, The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal

‘A thought provoking, original and personal contribution to the emerging field of cognitive economics, integrating insights from a variety of innovative research streams in neighboring social sciences including neural science, social cognition, strategy and organization, and social network analysis.’
– Anna Grandori, Bocconi University, Italy

‘Among scholars writing about business firms, Bart Nooteboom stands out both in his ability to bring relevant perspectives from diverse disciplines together to illuminate phenomena, and in his solid understanding of how firms actually work. For many years he has had a central interest in how firms cope with challenges, problem solving mechanisms in firms, and innovation. These qualities make this an important book. Nooteboom also writes very well, and the book is a pleasure to read.’
– Richard R. Nelson, Columbia University, US
Contents: Preface 1. Purpose, Scope, Concepts and Positioning 2. Embodied Cognition 3. Organizational Focus 4. Organization between Organizations 5. Dynamic Capabilities 6. Evolution Conclusions References Index
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