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Examining economic organization through the lens of contract

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  • Oliver E. Williamson

Abstract

The lens of contract approach to the study of economic organization is partly complementary but also partly rival to the orthodox lens of choice. Specifically, whereas the latter focuses on simple market exchange, the lens of contract is predominantly concerned with the complex contracts. Among the major differences is that non-standard and unfamiliar contractual practices and organizational structures that orthodoxy interprets as manifestations of monopoly are often perceived to serve economizing purposes under the lens of contract. A major reason for these and other differences is that orthodoxy is dismissive of organization theory whereas organization theory provides conceptual foundations for the lens of contract. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver E. Williamson, 2003. "Examining economic organization through the lens of contract," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(4), pages 917-942, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:12:y:2003:i:4:p:917-942
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    Cited by:

    1. Yochanan Shachmurove, 2012. "Failing Institutions Are at the Core of the U.S. Financial Crisis," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-040, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Yochanan Shachmurove, 2012. "Financial Crises And Econonomic Institutions An Institutional Account Of The Usa Financial Crisis," Montenegrin Journal of Economics, Economic Laboratory for Transition Research (ELIT), vol. 8(2), pages 45-52.
    3. Elsner, Wolfram & Hocker, Gero & Schwardt, Henning, 2009. "Simplistic vs. Complex Organization: Markets, Hierarchies, and Networks in an 'Organizational Triangle'," MPRA Paper 14315, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Vega, Dora Carias & Keenan, Rodney J., 2014. "Transaction cost theory of the firm and community forestry enterprises," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-7.
    5. Agnihotri, Arpita & Bhattacharya, Saurabh, 2015. "Determinants of export intensity in emerging markets: An upper echelon perspective," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 687-695.
    6. Oliver E. Williamson, 2010. "Transaction Cost Economics: The Natural Progression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 673-690, June.
    7. Cristina Gimenez & Vicenta Sierra, 2013. "Sustainable Supply Chains: Governance Mechanisms to Greening Suppliers," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 189-203, August.
    8. Fernando Toboso, 2006. "Old organizational issues from a new institutional economics perspective. Some introductory remarks," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines, vol. 21(2), pages 3-11, December.
    9. Marta Peris-Ortiz & Fernando Peris Bonet & Carlos Rueda-Armengot, 2011. "Vertical integration in production and services: development in transaction cost economics," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 5(1), pages 87-97, March.

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