From corner store to superstore: a historical analysis of Sainsbury’s co-evolution

Aluko, O. ORCID: 0000-0002-4107-5194 and Knight, H. ORCID: 0000-0003-2779-2215, 2017. From corner store to superstore: a historical analysis of Sainsbury’s co-evolution. Journal of Management History, 23 (4), pp. 423-435. ISSN 1751-1348

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Purpose – The purpose of this study is to explore the conceptualisation of co-evolution using a corporate history research approach. While the application of the co-evolutionary perspective to the organisational-environmental relationships has uncovered significant evidences, little is understood about how the co-evolutionary process occurs over time between organisations and their institutional environment.
Design/methodology and approach – A co-evolutionary corporate history approach in employed as we investigated Sainsbury’s historical trajectory, exploring the role specific family members played in the evolution of the firm and the co-evolution of Sainsbury with its environment. This research design framework encompasses longitudinal archival analysis which incorporates both external and internal engagement which fostered Sainsbury’s joint evolution.
Findings – Findings from this study clearly suggests that certain organisations can and do co-evolved with their environment. However, organisations need to build legitimate cases for co-evolution to occur. In addition, they need to acquire certain resources that can be employed to stimulate changes within their institutional environment.
Originality/value – Through a corporate history archival analysis, this study presents a UK company’s, evolutionary narrative. The authors contribute to the growing literature on coevolution in management studies by presenting a detailed historical narrative and interpretation of Sainsbury’s evolution at different time periods.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Management History
Creators: Aluko, O. and Knight, H.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: September 2017
Volume: 23
Number: 4
ISSN: 1751-1348
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 18 Jul 2017 13:34
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2018 09:06

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