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The Problem with Dispersed Knowledge: Firms in Theory and Practice

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  • Minkler, Alanson P

Abstract

In this paper, the author shows how the dispersed knowledge workers possess poses problems for both firms and economists' theories of the firm. For firms, continued adherence to old style mass production techniques when market demand changes rapidly is proving to be inadequate. For economists, dispersed knowledge causes structural uncertainty, which in turn implies that agency, transaction-cost, and Austrian analyses of the firm are inadequate. In contrast, the author suggests how the 'capabilities' theory of the firm could incorporate dispersed knowledge to account for organizational innovations that redistribute decision-making within the firm. Copyright 1993 by WWZ and Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag AG

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.

Volume (Year): 46 (1993)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 569-87

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Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:46:y:1993:i:4:p:569-87

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Cited by:
  1. Lanse Minkler, 2002. "Shirking and Motivations in Firms: Survey Evidence on Worker Attitudes," Working papers 2002-40, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Diego Iribarren, 2003. "From Economic Activity to Understanding Spaces," Econometrics 0303008, EconWPA.
  3. Diego Iribarren, 2003. "From Economic Activity to Understanding Spaces," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2003_01, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  4. Markus C. Becker & Francesco Zirpoli, 2003. "Organising new product development Knowledge hollowing-out and knowledge integration," DRUID Working Papers 03-05, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  5. Diego Iribarren, 2003. "From Economic Activity to Understanding Spaces," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0303001, EconWPA.
  6. Wolfgang Kerber & Simonetta Vezzoso, 2004. "EU Competition Policy, Vertical Restraints, and Innovation: An Analysis from an Evolutionary Perspective," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200414, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  7. Nicolai J. Foss & Jens Frøslev Christensen, 1996. "A Process Approach to Corporate Coherence," DRUID Working Papers 96-7, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  8. Cayer, Mario & Minkler, Lanse, 1998. "Dualism, dialogue and organizations: Reflections on organizational transformation and labor-managed firms," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 53-77.
  9. Richard Adelstein, 2005. "Knowledge and Power in the Mechanical Firm: Planning for Profit in Austrian Perpsective," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 55-82, January.
  10. Ehab M. Abou Aish & Wael A. Kortam & Salah S. Hassan, 2008. "Using Agency Theory in Understanding Switching Behavior in B2B Service Industries “I”," Working Papers 6, The German University in Cairo, Faculty of Management Technology.
  11. Nicolai J. Foss, 1996. "Austrian and Post-Marshallian EconomicsThe Bridging Work of George Richardson," DRUID Working Papers 96-4, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  12. Nathalie Lazaric & Alain Raybaut, 2007. "Knowledge, Hierarchy and incentives: Why human resource policy and trust matter," Post-Print hal-00453292, HAL.
  13. Putterman, Louis, 1995. "Markets, hierarchies, and information: On a paradox in the economics of organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 373-390, May.
  14. Fikret Adaman & Pat Devine, 2002. "A Reconsideration of the Theory of Entrepreneurship: A participatory approach," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 329-355.
  15. Lanse Minkler, 2003. "Managing Moral Motivations," Working papers 2003-06, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  16. Richard P. Adelstein, 2003. "Knowledge and Power in the Mechanical Firm: Planning for Profit in Austrian Perspective," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2005-015, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.

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