Evolutionary Selection Processes

ISBN: 978-1-78769-688-4, eISBN: 978-1-78769-685-3

Publication date: 5 March 2019


(2019), "Prelims", Stańczyk-Hugiet, E., Piórkowska, K., Stańczyk, S. and Strużyna, J. (Ed.) Evolutionary Selection Processes, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xv.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited

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Towards Intra-Organizational Facets



Wroclaw University of Economics, Poland


Wroclaw University of Economics, Poland


Wroclaw University of Economics, Poland


University of Economics in Katowice, Poland

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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First edition 2019

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited

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ISBN: 978-1-78769-688-4 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-78769-685-3 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-78769-687-7 (Epub)

List of Figures and Tables

Chapter 3
Figure 3.1. Multilevel Selection: The Proposal. 84
Chapter 1
Table 1.1. The Selected Recommendations for the Managers and OMT Researchers. 6
Table 1.2. Key Issues to Understand the Evolutionary Selection Phenomenon. 12
Table 1.3. The Representation of Coevolution Types in the OMT. 21

About the Authors

Ewa Stańczyk-Hugiet is the Dean of the Faculty of Management, Computer Science, and Finance and the Chair and Full Professor in the Department of Strategy and Management Methods at the Wroclaw University of Economics. She is leading research in the strategic management field (specifically, strategy process, dynamic capabilities, interfirm network, and coopetition) resulting in a number of papers, a master thesis, and a doctoral monograph. She is the Expert and Reviewer in the National Science Center in Poland; and recently, the Principal Investigator in the project “Intraorganisational mechanisms of primary selection in the high-tech sector.” She is a member of the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Science.

Katarzyna Piórkowska, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Wroclaw University of Economics in Poland (the Faculty of Management, Computer Science and Finance, the Department of Strategy and Management Methods). Her recent research interests are as follows: micro-foundations in strategic management, research methodology (quantitative and qualitative; especially multilevel studies), the evolutionary approach in strategic management (especially the processes of multilevel selection, evolution, and coevolution) as well as interorganizational networks. Those interests have resulted in around 90 papers. She is a Principal Investigator and an Investigator in many research projects in the field of strategic management.

Sylwia Stańczyk, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Strategy and Management Methods at the Wroclaw University of Economics. She gained her PhD in Social Sciences (business and management). Sylwia has a long-lasting teaching record in various areas of business administration (strategic management, general management, innovation management, cross-cultural management). She is the author of more than 90 academic articles and papers in organizational culture, cross-culture management, and strategic management areas. Recently, she is leading research in business ecosystem, network’s identity, and organizational routines.

Janusz Strużyna has more than 30 years of experience in teaching, researching, consulting, and publishing. He is a Full Professor in the Department of Organizational Relationships Management at the University of Economics in Katowice. Janusz has published numerous research as the author and coauthor including “Human Resource Management in SME’s: Empirical Results from Poland” (in Fink, M., Kraus, S. (ed.), The Management of Small and Medium Enterprises. London: Routledge) in 2009 (co-authors T. Ingram and S. Kraus), and participated in many research projects. He has published over 200 papers and participated in a number of international and national research and conferences.


This book adopts an evolutionary perspective on organizing and focuses on theorizing the strategy process and practices; more generally, the dynamics of organizational evolution. In particular, it focuses on the selection aspect of the classic evolutionary mechanism (VSR) and suggests that selection is explained not only by their interaction with the external environment but also by a set of internal – endogenous – factors. The book suggests that past research was unduly focused on the former. It proposes and describes a multilevel selection mechanism that integrates the endogenous and exogenous selection pressures and describes the dynamics of organizational evolution more fully. Concerning the behavioral and cultural circumstances, the book explains a managerial intervention and its effect on the adaptation mode. We complement it by adding explanations concerning interorganizational level selection in order to build a complex picture of the selection processes.

The book has three core ideas that extend the current conversation in the literature. First, the authors recognize the importance of the internal selection pressures, in particular, the behavioral and cultural factors that shape the selection environment within the organization. Second, the book attempts to integrate the endogenous and exogenous factors into a more complete picture of organizational evolution seen through the lens of an internal and external context. Third, the book expands the scope of the discussion into multilevel selection within and beyond the organizations, showing how the entire selection mechanism behaves at each level and how these mechanisms are connected across levels.

The evolutionary logic, in principle, involves selection rationale. The selection phenomenon is associated with the idea that the “best” elements are selected – referring thereby to specific criteria such as fitness and efficiency. In general, the evolutionary approach is concentrated on exogenous selection; however, in some cases, it is focused on selection inside the organization (endogenous selection). That endogenous selection is underexplored in the studies. Nevertheless, an evolutionary metaphor is used in many sciences since it is associated with progress and cognitive inspirations.

From the aforementioned perspective, this book will complement management thoughts by evolutionary rationality. However, we include a multilevel approach to explain and discuss exogenous and endogenous selection process interplay. The book is a result of years of research combining expertise knowledge in the field of strategy, organizational change, and evolutionary approach. Finally, it leads readers inside the organization, inside a multilevel context, to discover and to find explanations of endogenous selection mechanism and factors influencing it. It links the evolutionary approach, process perspective, and practice perspective in making explanations in the area of the strategy process. The book challenges an important hypothesis explaining the problems of strategic management saying that in practice managers deliberate and a market decides.

Hopefully, our monography gets the interest not only of evolutionary theorists but also of strategists and change management scholars. We believe that taking the effort to give alternative explanations considering change, especially in the terms of strategic choice, contributes to existing research as well as to better understanding of the organizational reality.

We expect the book contributes to strategic management research in terms of multilevel strategic adaptation to the environment as well as organizational change and organizational behavior research due to the internal criteria and determinants of organizational adaptation, especially by means of multilevel coevolving internal selection processes.


The monograph is supported by the National Science Centre in Poland (grant number: DEC-2013/11/B/HS4/00647).

The authors are grateful to two anonymous reviewers and to Pete Baker for valuable comments and feedback on the manuscript.

Special thanks go to everyone at Emerald Publishing for guiding this book for publication.