So far we have said little about why these questions should be of interest to the management scholars and what the challenge to the SSSM has to do with us. We will return to this in the concluding remarks of this essay, but basically there are four families of reasons: (1) To the extent that we are social scientists, we have bought into the SSSM as strongly as our sociologist and anthropologist colleagues. The SSSM is like the air we breath, its ubiquity makes it hard to notice, but any serious challenge to it will have a profound impact. We feel that after coming to terms with evolutionary psychology and the role of human nature it will be impossible to think about behavior, especially social and group behavior, the same way. (2) It has become popular in the field to specifically talk about culture and explicitly evoke certain aspects of the SSSM. This is not only the case in the discussion of international or cross-cultural management where this is prevalent, but in the so-called cultural view of organizations as well. Whether or not we do so explicitly, we are claiming to be anthropologists of organizations, and we bring the whole of the SSSM to bare on it. Anything that reshapes anthropology, reshapes management research. (3) The developments in these areas, and particularly in explicating the relationship between psychological universals and variations (within universal limits) of cultures, societies and organizing, are beginning to show a way of doing research that can lead to theories of a depth, power and sophistication that the study of organizations has yet to see.
Somewhat distinct from the three reasons listed above is that The Origins of Virtue, to which we now return, is about cooperation as a part of human nature. It is Ridley's desire to understand cooperative behavior in humans that drives his book. He points out that it is this same cooperation that leads to the specialization of labor that drives the wealth of nations. It is this same cooperation that drives us to work in and form organizations for the benefit of its members. Anyone interested in studying why and how people form organizations and how they behave within them, will need to understand cooperation generally.