Sidney G. Winter

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Sidney Graham Winter (born 1935, Iowa City, Iowa) is a US economist and Professor Emeritus of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA. He is recognized as one of the leading figures in the revival of evolutionary economics.


  • The dilemma of a socialized system is that the information flow overwhelms a centralized system if it is open to new ideas and data, that closing the system and forcing the plan to work forecloses alternatives and risks unhedged mistakes, and that decentralizing without real markets poses the problems discussed by Hayek. These information problems permeate virtually all economic processes.
    • Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter, An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change (1982), p. 365

Dynamic Capability as a Source of Change, 2008


Sidney G. Winter, "Dynamic Capability as a Source of Change" in Alexander Ebner, Nikolaus Beck, eds. The Institutions of the Market: Organizations, Social Systems, and Governance (2008)

  • The term ‘kinship’ correctly suggests the existence not only of contemporary relatives but also of ancestors. Indeed, the recent discussion of dynamic capability was prefigured historically, with a variety of terminology, in a number of sources. Perhaps the most directly relevant example among these earlier contributions is Schumpeter’s discussion of the ‘routinization of innovation’ (Schumpeter 1950). Schumpeter’s argument presented, however, an issue that remains central in contemporary discussion of dynamic capability—the possibly problematic character of the claim that there is such a thing as ‘learned competence’ for doingnew things.
  • The writings of Joseph Schumpeter contributed an essential part of the broad conceptual framework that now embraces the discussion of dynamic capabilities.
  • Towards the end of his life, Schumpeter re-painted his picture of capitalist development on an even broader canvas. In Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (Schumpeter 1950), he offered a complex, multifaceted argument that the type of capitalism he had earlier described might be passing from the historical scene, morphing by small degrees into some variety of socialism.
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