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Firm development as an integrated process: with evidence from the General Motors–Fisher Body case

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  • Michael Dietrich

    ()

  • Jackie Krafft

    ()

Abstract

This paper argues that an adequate approach to the firm should be able to accommodate the complexities of actual firm development. The latter is conceptualized in terms of three general stages: prime movers or drivers of change, change processes, and change attractors. Furthermore, any "real-world" firm is both a technical and an institutional unit. To emphasize the importance of "real firm" analysis, the discussion presented here revolves around an understanding of the much considered case of General Motors and Fisher Body integration has developed over time. Generalization from this case suggests that an integrated view of the firm is necessary that combines the three stages and the two bases (technical and institutional). Six general perspectives on the firm are identified as having technical or institutional bases that are relevant in each of the three stages. This integrated approach to the firm is explored in terms of the general topic of firm development. It is concluded that, without an integrated approach to firm development, a potentially biased or incomplete analysis can result.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Evolutionary Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 665-686

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:21:y:2011:i:4:p:665-686

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Related research

Keywords: Economics of the firm; Firm development; Vertical integration; D21; L22; L62;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Michael Dietrich & Jackie Krafft, 2012. "Economics and Theory of the Firm, Chap. 1 of the Handbook on Economics and Theory of the Firm, M. Dietrich and Jackie Krafft (eds), Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, 2012," Post-Print halshs-00742302, HAL.

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