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Cognition and Motivation in the Theory of the Firm: Interaction or "Never the Twain Shall Meet"?

Listed author(s):
  • Foss Nicolai J.

    (Copenhagen Business School)

Economics in general, and the theory of the firm more specifically, places motivation and cognition in very different analytical boxes, in spite of cognitive science evidence that the boundaries between the two are in reality blurred. While this analytical assumption has often served the theory of the firm well, a number of organizational phenomena are better understood if cognition and motivation are allowed to interact, for example, through framing effects, as organizational scholars have long argued. The paper exemplifies by developing the implications of this for Williamsons notion of the impossibility of selective intervention.théorie de la firme en particulier placent la motivation et la connaissance dans des boites analytiques très différentes, en dépit de preuves scientifiques affirmant que les deux se confondent dans la réalité. Même si cette hypothèse analytique a souvent été utile dans la théorie de la firme, certains phénomènes organisationnels sont mieux compris si on permet à la connaissance et à la motivation de réagir réciproquement, par exemple à travers des effets dencadrement comme les théoriciens des organisations le soutiennent depuis longtemps. Ce papier illustre cette interaction en développant les implications de leffet dencadrement pour la notion dimpossibilité dintervention sélective de Williamson.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

Volume (Year): 14 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-24

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:14:y:2004:i:1:n:4
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  2. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
  3. Kirsten Foss & Nicolai J. Foss & Xose H. Vazquez-Vicente, 2003. ""Tying the Manager's Hands": How Firms can make Credible Commitments that make Opportunistic Managerial Intervention Less Likely," DRUID Working Papers 03-10, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  4. Jackie Coyle-Shapiro, 2000. "Consequences Of The Psychological Contract For The Employment Relationship: A Large Scale Survey," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(7), pages 903-930, November.
  5. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  6. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114.
  7. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, April.
  8. 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 201-218.
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