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The (non)Theory of the Knowledge Firm

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    Abstract

    This paper argues that the mainstream approaches to the theory of the firm do not provide a theory of the human capital based or knowledge based firm. We examine the textbook (neoclassical) theory of the firm, the transaction cost model, the incentive-system approach and the Grossman Hart Moore approach to the firm and argue that none of them are able to fully capture the changes to the firm that the movement towards a knowledge economy entails. We also consider the effects of knowledge on the location of production.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz/RePEc/cbt/econwp/0807.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 08/07.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: 10 Apr 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:08/07

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    Related research

    Keywords: Theory of the firm; Knowledge economy; Human-capital based firm;

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    1. Hart, Oliver D, 1988. "Incomplete Contracts and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 119-39, Spring.
    2. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
    3. Langlois, Richard N & Foss, Nicolai J, 1999. "Capabilities and Governance: The Rebirth of Production in the Theory of Economic Organization," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 201-18.
    4. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    5. Richardson, G B, 1972. "The Organisation of Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 883-96, September.
    6. Cyert, Richard M & Hedrick, Charles L, 1972. "Theory of the Firm: Past, Present, and Future; An Interpretation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 398-412, June.
    7. Gibbons, Robert, 2005. "Four forma(lizable) theories of the firm?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 200-245, October.
    8. Coase, R H, 1992. "The Institutional Structure of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 713-19, September.
    9. Demsetz, Harold, 1988. "The Theory of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 141-61, Spring.
    10. Nicolai J. Foss, 1997. "The classical theory of production and the capabilities view of the firm," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(5), pages 307-323, October.
    11. Brian J. Loasby, . "The Organisation of Capabilities," Working Papers Series 96/6, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Transfer Pricing and Organizational Form," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 201-28, Fall.
    13. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    14. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 299-322 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Moore, John, 1992. "The firm as a collection of assets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 493-507, April.
    16. Matthew Rabin., 1991. "Information and the Control of Productive Assets," Economics Working Papers 91-169, University of California at Berkeley.
    17. Ashish Arora & Andrea Fosfuri & Alfonso Gambardella, 2004. "Markets for Technology: The Economics of Innovation and Corporate Strategy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262511819, December.
    18. Herbert A. Simon, 1991. "Organizations and Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 25-44, Spring.
    19. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    20. Erik Brynjolfsson, 1994. "Information Assets, Technology and Organization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(12), pages 1645-1662, December.
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