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Knowledge, coordination and the firm: Historical perspectives

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  • Brian Loasby

Abstract

This paper illustrates the problems and processes of developing economic knowledge by a selective historical treatment of ideas about the firm. Coase thought it necessary to explain firms as organizations, but not as distinctive productive units; neither did he explain why markets exist. Chamberlin's attempt to introduce product differentiation and selling costs is compared with Allyn Young's process theory and Marshall's treatment of the firm, and inter-firm relations, as means of organizing the growth of knowledge. The firm is a decision-making system in a context of Knightian uncertainty, and Simon's concept of quasi-decomposability applies to human brains and human organizations.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought.

Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 539-558

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Handle: RePEc:taf:eujhet:v:16:y:2009:i:4:p:539-558

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Related research

Keywords: Firms; organization; knowledge; decisions; uncertainty;

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Cited by:
  1. ArgandoƱa, Antonio, 2010. "From action theory to the theory of the firm," IESE Research Papers D/855, IESE Business School.

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