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Edith Penrose: A Feminist Economist?


  • Michael Best
  • Jane Humphries


We re-read a foundational work, The Theory of the Growth of the Firm by Edith Penrose, not to identify the androcentric bias but instead to recover a challenge to such bias. Our purpose is to show in Penrose an alternative view of human "nature" and revulsion from "Cartesian" dualisms. At the same time, Penrose had a deep interest in the real world and used metaphor and story alongside empirical observation in the pursuit of theoretical advance. The Theory of the Growth of the Firm provides an approach to industrial organization that is not only consistent with feminist economics but can be read as a methodological and expositional examplar.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Best & Jane Humphries, 2003. "Edith Penrose: A Feminist Economist?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 47-73.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:9:y:2003:i:1:p:47-73
    DOI: 10.1080/1354570022000044436

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter J. Buckley & Mark Casson, 2007. "Edith Penroseā€™s Theory of the Growth of the Firm and the strategic management of multinational enterprises," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 151-173, March.


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