In this study of the warehousing company Pakhoed and its predecessors over a period of 200 years, we analyse the configuration of environmental forces, exploitation and exploration, and three firm-level longevity factors: a tolerant management style and decentralised structure; a strong sense of identity; and a conservative financial policy. The idiosyncratic set-up of Pakhoed's forerunners enabled their long-term survival through co-evolution with an environment that both compelled them to be responsive and provided them with scarce resources. In the most recent period, failed explorations helped Pakhoed to strengthen its sense of identity and to focus on a well-chosen field of exploitation.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Business History
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

van Driel, H., Volberda, H., Eikelboom, S., & Kamerbeek, E. (2015). A co-evolutionary analysis of longevity: Pakhoed and its predecessors. Business History, 57(8), 1277–1305. doi:10.1080/00076791.2015.1026261