Business Research

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 155–176 | Cite as

Path Constitution Analysis: A Methodology for Understanding Path Dependence and Path Creation

  • Jörg Sydow
  • Arnold Windeler
  • Gordon Müller-Seitz
  • Knut Lange
Open Access


Although an increasing number of studies of technological, institutional and organizational change refer to the concepts of path dependence and path creation, few attempts have been made to consider these concepts explicitly in their methodological accounts. This paper addresses this gap and contributes to the literature by developing a comprehensive methodology that originates from the concepts of path dependence and path creation — path constitution analysis (PCA) — and allows for the integration of multi-actor constellations on multiple levels of analysis within a process perspective. Based upon a longitudinal case study in the field of semiconductors, we illustrate PCA ‘in action’ as a template for other researchers and critically examine its adequacy. We conclude with implications for further path-oriented inquiries.


Path Dependence Business Research Organizational Field Path Constitution Business Research Official Open Access 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The Author(s) 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg Sydow
    • 1
  • Arnold Windeler
    • 2
  • Gordon Müller-Seitz
    • 1
  • Knut Lange
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ManagementFreie UniversitätBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institute of SociologyTechnische UniversitätBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Surrey Business SchoolUniversity of SurreyUK

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