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Response to Farjoun's 'Strategy Making, Novelty, and Analogical Reasoning: Commentary on Gavetti, Levinthal, and Rivkin (2005)'

Giovanni Gavetti, Daniel A. Levinthal and Jan W. Rivkin
Strategic Management Journal
Vol. 29, No. 9 (Sep., 2008), pp. 1017-1021
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20142075
Page Count: 5
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Response to Farjoun's 'Strategy Making, Novelty, and Analogical Reasoning: Commentary on Gavetti, Levinthal, and Rivkin (2005)'
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Abstract

In his thoughtful commentary on our 2005 paper (Gavetti, Levinthal, and Rivkin, 2005), Farjoun offers three critiques and extensions. First, he suggests our approach should have explicitly considered a constructionist logic. Second, Farjoun argues that we have neglected the full array of modes of cognition between rational choice and feedback-based adaptive learning and have therefore overstated the role of our focal mode, reasoning by analogy. Third, he highlights some of the contingencies under which the various modes of cognition he identifies are effective. In response, we address each point. We first argue that a constructionist perspective is not alien either to the role of analogical reasoning or to the particular modeling apparatus we have developed. We then suggest that despite the richness of modes of cognition that lie between rational choice and adaptive learning, theorizing about them requires simplification and the identification of underlying categories that classify such modes, which is the approach our paper employs. Finally, we clarify how our paper adopts the contingent logic advocated by Farjoun.

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