Evolution, Organization and Economic Behavior

Evolution, Organization and Economic Behavior

Edited by Guido Buenstorf

This new and original collection of papers focuses on the intersection of three strands of research: evolutionary economics, behavioral economics, and management studies. Combining theoretical and empirical contributions, the expert contributors demonstrate that the intersection of these fields provides a rich source of opportunities enabling researchers to find more satisfactory answers to questions that (not only evolutionary) economists have long been tackling. Topics discussed include individual agents and their interactions; the behavior and development of firm organizations; and evolving firms and their broader implications for the development of regions and entire economies.

Chapter 7: The Emergence of Clan Control in a Science-based Firm: The Case of Carl Zeiss

Markus C. Becker

Subjects: economics and finance, behavioural and experimental economics, evolutionary economics


Markus C. Becker* INTRODUCTION 1 One of the essential challenges for an organization is to ensure that its members act in ways that meet the organization’s objectives. This is the challenge of organizational control (Ouchi 1980; see also Otley, 2003). To attain it, organizations employ processes and mechanisms by which managers direct attention, motivate, and encourage organizational members to act to meet the firm’s objectives (Ouchi, 1977, 1979; Cardinal, 2001; Kirsch et al., 2010). The study of organizational control has a long tradition (Cyert and March, 1963 [1992]). Yet, scholars who have studied organizational control have concentrated almost exclusively on understanding the characteristics and effects of control in large, mature organizations (Cardinal et al., 2004: 411). They paid little or no attention to ‘how [these organizations] came to be that way’ (Aldrich, 1999: 1), and virtually ignored the origins and the evolution of organizational control (Cardinal et al., 2004: 411). Studies of the genesis of control configurations during founding are rare (ibid.). Within this research gap, my particular interest is on one form of organizational control: clan control (Ouchi, 1979, 1980). As Ouchi (1979, 1980) has argued, clan control is the appropriate form of control for a research and development (R&D) laboratory (explained below). Yet, providing the prerequisites for clan-based control and supporting its emergence is not trivial, because clan control is challenging (Ouchi, 1979). The question of how top management can support the emergence of clan control is therefore of interest, and not yet fully answered. In this...

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