Organizational Path Dependence

To enable a better understanding of the underlying logic of path dependence, we set forth a theoretical framework explaining how organizations become path dependent. At its core are the dynamics of self-reinforcing mechanisms, which are likely to lead an organization into a lock-in. By drawing on studies of technological paths, we conceptualize the emergent process of path dependence along three distinct stages. We also use the model to explore breakouts from organizational path dependence and discuss implications for managing and researching organizational paths.

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