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The Theory of the Firm and Its Critics A Stocktaking and Assessment

  • Nicolai J. Foss
  • Peter G. Klein

Ever since its emergence in the 1970s the modern economic or Coasian theory of the firm has been discussed and challenged by sociologists, heterodox economists, management scholars, and other critics. This chapter reviews and assesses these critiques, focusing on behavioral issues (bounded rationality and motivation), process (including path dependence and the selection argument), entrepreneurship, and the challenge from knowledge-based theories of the firm.

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Paper provided by DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies in its series DRUID Working Papers with number 05-03.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:05-03
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.druid.dk/

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  1. Kirsten Foss & Nicolai Foss, 2001. "Assets, Attributes and Ownership," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 19-37.
  2. Saussier, Stephane, 2000. "Transaction costs and contractual incompleteness: the case of Electricite de France," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 189-206, June.
  3. Oliver Hart, 2001. "Norms and the Theory of the Firm," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1923, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  5. 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 201-18.
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  8. Kreps, David M, 1996. "Markets and Hierarchies and (Mathematical) Economic Theory," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 561-95.
  9. Bajari, Patrick & Tadelis, Steven, 2001. "Incentives versus Transaction Costs: A Theory of Procurement Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 387-407, Autumn.
  10. Ross, Stephen A, 1973. "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 134-39, May.
  11. Edward P. Lazear, 1991. "Labor Economics and the Psychology of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 89-110, Spring.
  12. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1991. "Takeovers in the '60s and the '80s: Evidence and Implications," Scholarly Articles 10498058, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Unforeseen Contingencies and Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 83-114, January.
  15. Mukerji, S., 1997. "Ambiguity aversion and incompleteness of contractual form," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9715, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  16. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1988. "Economic Theories of the Firm: Past, Present, and Future," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 21(3), pages 444-58, August.
  17. Masten, Scott E & Meehan, James W, Jr & Snyder, Edward A, 1991. "The Costs of Organization," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25, Spring.
  18. Kirk Monteverde, 1995. "Technical Dialog as an Incentive for Vertical Integration in the Semiconductor Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(10), pages 1624-1638, October.
  19. Hodgson, Geoffrey M., 1998. "Competence and contract in the theory of the firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 179-201, April.
  20. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
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