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Co-Evolution: Law and Institutions in International Ethics Research

Carla C. J. M. Millar, Chong-Ju Choi and Philip Y. K. Cheng
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 87, No. 4 (Jul., 2009), pp. 455-462
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40294939
Page Count: 8
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Co-Evolution: Law and Institutions in International Ethics Research
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Abstract

Despite the importance of the co-evolution approach in various branches of research, such as strategy, organisation theory, complexity, population ecology, technology and innovation (Lewin et al., 1999; March, 1991), co-evolution has been relatively neglected in international business and ethics research (Madhok and Phene, 2001). The purpose of this article is to show how co-evolution theory provides a theoretical framework within which some issues of ethics research are addressed. Our analysis is in the context of the contrasts between business systems (North, 1990), and in particular the distinction between informal systems and those systems where institutions are formalised in law. This complements the growing research on comparative corporate governance and capitalisms (Chandler and Hikino, 1990; Choi etal., 1999; Whitley, 1994). The synthesis of co-evolution and analysis of divergent institutional environments in ethics research can also complement the globalisation and MNE approaches to international business research.

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