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Table 1 Examples of theories and methods from evolutionary psychology contributing to the study of organizations

From: Evolutionary psychology: theoretical foundations for the study of organizations

Research question Evolutionary theory Evolved mechanism Methodology
Do family businesses perform better in certain markets? How do organizations manage nepotistic biases? Kin selection People trust and cooperate with kin more than non-kin 1. Comparing family businesses with corporations 2. Simulations 3. Genetics
Do people dislike working in steep hierarchical structures? Mismatch People have a small-scale social psychology 1. Surveys in organizations 2. Psychological experiments 3. Anthropological records
Are organizations in new, competitive markets more egalitarian? Multilevel selection People invest more in group when competition between groups is strong 1. Models and simulations 2. Case studies 3. Archeological data
Do more entrepreneurial leaders create more entrepreneurial organizational cultures? Cultural evolution People copy the behavior of high-prestige models 1. Psychological studies 2. Neuroscience 3. Organizational surveys
Are there more sexual relationships and sexual conflicts and harassment in gender-diverse work places, based on particular sex ratios? Sexual selection People compete with the same sex rivals for the opposite sex 1. Psychological experiments 2. Comparative organizational studies