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The Mechanisms of Governance

Author

Listed:
  • Williamson, Oliver E.

    (University of California at Berkeley)

Abstract

This book brings together in one place the work of one of our most respected economic theorists, on a field which he has played a large part in originating: the New Institutional Economics. Transaction cost economics, which studies the governance of contractual relations, is the branch of the New Institutional Economics with which Oliver Williamson is especially associated. Transaction cost economics takes issue with one of the fundamental building blocks in microeconomics: the theory of the firm. Whereas orthodox economics describes the firm in technological terms, as a production function, transaction cost economics describes the firm in organizational terms, as a governance structure. Alternative feasible forms of organization--firms, markets, hybrids, bureaus--are examined comparatively. The analytical action resides in the details of transactions and the mechanisms of governance. Transaction cost economics has had a pervasive influence on current economic thought about how and why institutions function as they do, and it has become a practical framework for research in organizations by representatives of a variety of disciplines. Through a transaction cost analysis, The Mechanisms of Governance shows how and why simple contracts give way to complex contracts and internal organization as the hazards of contracting build up. That complicates the study of economic organization, but a richer and more relevant theory of organization is the result. Many testable implications and lessons for public policy accrue to this framework. Applications of both kinds are numerous and growing. Written by one of the leading economic theorists of our time, The Mechanisms of Governance is sure to be an important work for years to come. It will be of interest to scholars and students of economics, organization, management, and law.

Suggested Citation

  • Williamson, Oliver E., 1999. "The Mechanisms of Governance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195132601.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780195132601
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rota, Cosimo & Zanasi, Cesare & Reynolds, Nikolai, 2014. "Assessing the Impact of Sustainability Improvement Options on the Agri-food Supply Chain Governance Structures: Development of an Evaluation Tool," International Journal on Food System Dynamics, International Center for Management, Communication, and Research, vol. 5(3).
    2. Vahabi, Mehrdad, 2003. "La contrainte budgétaire lâche et la théorie économique
      [Soft Budget Constraint and Economic Theory]
      ," MPRA Paper 17651, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Cristina DÂ’Andrea & Maria Luce Mariniello & Tiziana Vitolo, 2005. "Sustainability of economic development and governance patterns in water management - an overview on the reorganisation of public utilities in Campania, Italy, under EU Framework Directive in the field," ERSA conference papers ersa05p605, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Raúl O'Ryan, 2002. "Fusiones y poder de mercado en la industria mundial del cobre," Documentos de Trabajo 149, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    5. Vahabi, Mehrdad, 2008. "Protection costs, transaction costs,and economic theory," MPRA Paper 17648, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Gomes Lages, André Maia & Brandão Guerreiro Barbosa, Luciano Celso, 2007. "A Comercialização dos Produtos Orgânicos na Feira Agroecológica de Maceió/AL: Uma Avaliação sob a Lógica da Teoria dos Custos de Transação
      [The Marketing of Organic Products at the Agroecological F
      ," MPRA Paper 29373, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Hai, Do Phu & Roig-Dobón, Salvador & Sánchez-García, José Luis, 2016. "Innovative governance from public policy unities," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 1524-1528.
    8. Bachev, Hrabrin, 2010. "Study on Agrarian Contracts in Bulgaria," MPRA Paper 22946, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Bachev, Hrabrin, 2010. "Agro-Ecosystem Services – Governance Needs and Efficiency," MPRA Paper 25978, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Geert Bouckaert & Wouter van Dooren & Bram Verschuere & Joris Voets & Ellen Wayenberg, 2002. "Trajectories for Modernizing Local Governance: Revisiting the Flanders Case," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 309-342, January.
    11. Rota, Cosimo & Zanasi, Cesare & Reynolds, Nikolai, 2014. "Assessing the Supply Chain Governance Scenario in the Agri-food Sector: Development of a Measurement Tool," 2014 International European Forum, February 17-21, 2014, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 199341, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
    12. Aric Rindfleisch & Kersi Antia & Janet Bercovitz & James Brown & Joseph Cannon & Stephen Carson & Mrinal Ghosh & Susan Helper & Diana Robertson & Kenneth Wathne, 2010. "Transaction costs, opportunism, and governance: Contextual considerations and future research opportunities," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 211-222, September.

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