This introductory chapter first sets out the book's purpose, which is to reveal the environmental and organizational processes, as well as the critical paths, that underlie the evolution, structure, and comparative advantage of Israel's high-tech industry. It offers a complementary view in which it argues that Israel's information technology and communication (ITC) sector evolved out of diverse organizational models of founding that were embedded in two different institutional environments: an institutional-cooperative period that was followed by a competitive economic period. The book presents the evolutionary process of a new industry by taking an innovative historical-genealogical approach based on the mechanism of spawning—an approach traces the initial conditions under which the founding parent firm is the first in what later becomes a genealogy. The chapter describes the theoretical roots of this genealogical approach and the research setting, followed by an overview of the subsequent chapters.
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