The mirage of microfoundations

Geoffrey Hodgson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
224 Downloads (Pure)


If the project to bring “microfoundations” into strategic management and organizational analysis (Abel, Felin and Foss 2008, Felin and Foss 2005, 2006, 2009) simply means that we “we stress the need to build microfoundations rooted in individual action and interaction” (Felin and Foss 2009, p. 162) then we should applaud it. But this simple and valid proposition is complicated by added ambiguities.
Strangely, this current project (a) ignores the failure in the 1970s of the project to build macroeconomics on secure microfoundations, (b) retains damaging ambiguities, and (c) is ultimately inconsistent in its own terms. I deal with these three issues in turn and focus on the insufficiency and rhetorical bias in their core claims and propositions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1389-94
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number8
Early online date24 Sept 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • aggregation problems
  • emergent properties
  • methodological individualism
  • microfoundations


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