Acquisitions As Exaptation: The Legacy of Founding Institutions in the U.S. Commercial Banking Industry

This study focuses on how founding institutions impact intraorganizational capabilities and how such imprints may have different external manifestations in subsequent historical eras. We introduce the concept of exaptation to organizational theory, identifying an important process whereby the historical origin of a capability differs from its current usefulness. Three founding conditions—branching policy, modernization, and political culture—influenced banks’ development of capabilities for managing dispersed branches, and these capabilities subsequently led to variation in banks’ propensity to engage in acquisitions.

Journal or Publication:
Academy of Management Journal
Christopher Marquis
zhi huang
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