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Transaction cost economics and business administration

  • Williamson, Oliver E.

This paper traces the origins of transaction cost economics to three seminal people who had an intense interest in business: Ronald Coase, Chester Barnard, and Herbert Simon. By contrast with the neoclassical theory of the firm, which is a top-down construction, the transaction cost economics theory of the firm is a bottom-up construction--which is to say that it is much more microanalytic (the transaction is made the basic unit of analysis) and is comparative in its mode of analysis. Several top-down maxims that have their origins in economic theory are examined in a bottom-up way, which serves to uncover conceptual and/or implementation problems with each. I furthermore examine growing applications of transaction cost reasoning to business administration and within the social sciences.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Management.

Volume (Year): 21 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 19-40

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Handle: RePEc:eee:scaman:v:21:y:2005:i:1:p:19-40
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