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Conference Proceeding

The behavioral theory of the firm: The first 50 years and the next 50 years

Academy of Management Proceedings 2013 (1)
Vinit Desai, Chengwei Liu, Peter M. Madsen, David Maslach, Mie Augier, Linda Argote, Giovanni Gavetti et al. (2013)
Human resources management/organizational behavior
Behavioral theory of the firm, organizational desicion making, organizational learning
A Behavioral Theory of the Firm (Cyert & March, 1963) laid a conceptual foundation for the application of the “Carnegie School” approach to studying and understanding organization- level behavior and outcomes. The book has exerted enormous influence across fields such as organization theory, business strategy, economics, and organizational sociology in the now 50 years since its initial publication. As 2013 represents the 50th anniversary of the publication of Cyert and March (1963), this is an opportune time to reflect on BTF and its influence. This reflection should both (i) celebrate the foundational contributions of the BTF to organizational theory and strategic management and (ii) look forward toward how BTF may continue to guide future inquiry into the behavior of organizations (Gavetti et al., 2012). Therefore, we propose a panel symposium at the 2013 Academy of Management meeting to discuss the first 50 years of “A Behavioral Theory of the Firm” and project what the next 50 years may hold for work inspired by it. The envisioned panel symposium will involve a panel of senior scholars whose careers have been devoted to developing and extending this line of work—contributing to our understanding of 1) experience (Linda Argote), 2) performance feedback (Henrich Greve), 3) search (Giovanni Gavetti), 4) organizational learning (Anne Miner), and 5) managerial attention (William Ocasio). The panel members represent five of the thought leaders in the literatures that draw on BTF.
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