Professor Chris Pitelis Visits Cambridge University
29 April 2019
Professor Chris Pitelis, Dean of the College of Business, was invited to give a talk at Cambridge University during March entitled ‘The Ontology of Organisations, Markets, Business Ecosystems, Clusters and Entrepreneurship’.
The presentation addressed the issue of the ontology (analysis of the nature-raison d’etre) of markets, organizations, business ecosystems, and clusters, and their co-constituting entrepreneurial agency from a business strategy perspective.
Having discussed the general methodological underpinnings, the presentation zeroed in on the ontology of the specific constructs under their specific institutional setting of the market economy. Its key point was that the said constructs are explicable in terms of the pursuit of value capture from, usually value creating, advantages by economic agents in pursuit of their broadly defined self-advancement. This entails the co-creation of the context - 'reality' - within which the actions take place, helping explicate the more complex than usually allowed for nature of the constructs. This was juxtaposed to Arrow-Debreu ‘general equilibrium’ and 'market failure'-based approaches. It also points to the possibility of identifying tendencies which can, alongside a careful consideration of influence potential, be elevated to the status of predictions, even in the context of otherwise ‘open systems’.
In conclusion, the presentation pointed to the unanticipated contribution of business strategy scholarship in revitalizing classical economics themes and methodological approaches, as well as its limitations and scope for improvement.