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Miriam Garnier


The perspective of Evolutionary Governance that I have developed since 2012 is part of the emerging evolutionary perspective on the economy. I have proposed a new vision of governance as the function that optimizes the cognitive and behavioral collective intelligence of a firm to make decisions facing risks and uncertainty. The Board of Directors acts to anticipate variations of external conditions and internal routines, select the right orientations (decisions and routines which ensure the sustainability of the firm) and enhance co-evolution. The term "evolutionary" refers to the process of endogenously developing variations, selection and retention on the one hand, and on the co-evolution phenomenon on the other hand. Once limited to paleoanthropology, it has been extended as an abstract process to conceptualize many domains, among which economics. The original process of variation/selection/retention has become a generic concept of evolution as novelty/emergence/dissemination. Why is it necessary to introduce evolutionary concepts into governance research? To answer this question, I review in the first part the succession of influences over governance theories, and the pitfalls of the current framing compared to the objectives I assign to governance, as an internal mechanism of organizations to structure itself to face risks and uncertainty. In the second part, I review the breakthroughs of evolutionary concepts in various domains in close links with governance: strategy and political science and public administration. And in the last part, I explore the interesting properties of evolutionary governance and overview the impacts of this theory over strategy and economics.

Keywords: Evolutionary Governance, Evolutionary Strategies, Governance Theories

How to cite this paper: Garnier, M. (2015). From evolutionary governance to evolutionary strategies: Standing on the edge of chaos. Corporate Ownership & Control, 12(2-1), 186-195.