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Notes on Institutional Complementarities and Organizational Forms

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  • Erkan Gürpinar

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    Abstract

    This paper analyses the concept of organizational forms, and derives some implications for the economics of production organization. To this end, after pointing out the role of knowledge in the organization of production, we discuss the theories based on technology (new institutional economics) and property rights (so-called radical school). When the effect of property rights is not taken into account, technology alone entails unique solution to the problem of production organization. After ruling out this technologically deterministic argument, by recourse to a simple model, we study the complementarities between these two domains. Finally, we derive some implications: (a) the asymmetry between the characteristics of labour and capital under the existing property relations, (b) the importance of workers’ preferences for different ways of production organization. In so doing, we show that efficiency driven arguments on the relative success of different organizational forms may be misleading. Hence, we argue that, change in production organization should be described not as a linear path, but rather as a branching tree.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 678.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:678

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    Related research

    Keywords: Technology; Transaction costs; Property rights; Institutional complementarities; Organizational forms;

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    1. Marianna Belloc & Samuel Bowles, 2010. "International Trade, Factor Mobility and the Persistence of Cultural-Institutional Diversity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000051, David K. Levine.
    2. Putterman, Louis, 1984. "On Some Recent Explanations of Why Capital Hires Labor," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(2), pages 171-87, April.
    3. Veblen, Thorstein, 1899. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1899.
    4. Mokyr, Joel, 1990. "Punctuated Equilibria and Technological Progress," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 350-54, May.
    5. Simon, Herbert A, 1979. "Rational Decision Making in Business Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 493-513, September.
    6. J. Stan Metcalfe, 2010. "Technology and economic theory," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(1), pages 153-171, January.
    7. Alchian, Armen A. & Demsetz, Harold, 1973. "The Property Right Paradigm," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(01), pages 16-27, March.
    8. Dow, Gregory K. & Putterman, Louis, 2000. "Why capital suppliers (usually) hire workers: what we know and what we need to know," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 319-336, November.
    9. Ernesto Screpanti, 2011. "Freedom of Choice in the Production Sphere: The Capitalist and the Self-managed Firm," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 267-279.
    10. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    11. Ugo Pagano, 1999. "The Origin of Organizational Species," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp118, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
    12. Pagano, Ugo & Rowthorn, Robert, 1994. "Ownership, technology and institutional stability," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 221-242, December.
    13. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
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