A Memetic View of the Firm (Update)


A Memetic View of the Firm (Update)

Dirk Bruin


The question driving this research is what is invariably there in firms, what is their 'substance’ and therefore the research question is What is a firm? The research concerns the development of a theory to explain the behavior of firms in the light of the behavior of people associated with them, or rather, of their ideas. The approach is to involve cultural evolution by way of memes.


On the one hand this deals with the underpinning of the concept of memes in a metaphysics based on process and difference rather than individuality and objects. This involves use of the concepts such as individuation, autopoiesis and cognition. On the other hand it is concerned with how memes derive from individuals' belief systems, themselves autopoietic social systems.


These are the elements of culture people have come to be familiarized with, what they have come to believe and how these lend them rules for their decisions and motivate them to act. In particular it deals with the memes that exist in the Belief in Progress (aka the Market System) and how it has produced the firms that we currently have.


The final objective is to design a theoretical ‘laboratory’ for human organization that grounds in process metaphysics and to apply that laboratory to research the firm as a special case. This presentation is an update of the status of the research project.