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Ex Post and Ex Ante Coordination: Principles of Coherence in Organizations and Markets


  • David Cayla

    () (ATOM - Analyse Théorique des Organisations et des Marchés - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne)


In the traditional trade-off between internalization and externalization, economists tend to undervalue the role of intentionality (Williamson 1991) and to accord a dominant place to market coordinating devices (ex post coordination) compared to hierarchical coordinating devices (ex ante coordination). The aim of this paper is to show how the introduction of the concept of coherence, which is frequently invoked by economists in order to apprehend the firm specificities (Holmstrom 1999), may help to revaluate the trade-off between markets and firms in the advantage of the later. In particular, it will be shown that the attributes of coherence in ex post coordinating devices are fundamentally different from the ones that can be found in ex ante coordination systems.

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  • David Cayla, 2006. "Ex Post and Ex Ante Coordination: Principles of Coherence in Organizations and Markets," Post-Print halshs-00110810, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00110810
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard Langlois, 1995. "Do firms plan?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 247-261, October.
    2. Olivier Favereau, 1989. "Marchés internes, marchés externes," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 40(2), pages 273-328.
    3. 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 201-218.
    4. Williamson, Oliver E, 1991. "Economic Institutions: Spontaneous and Intentional Governance," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 159-187, Special I.
    5. Nicolai J. Foss, 1999. "The Use of Knowledge in Firms," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(3), pages 458-458, September.
    6. Ludovic Dibiaggio, 1999. "Apprentissage, coordination et organisation de l'industrie - Une perspective cognitive," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 88(1), pages 111-136.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wolfram Elsner, 2007. "Why Meso? On “Aggregation” and “Emergence”, and Why and How the Meso Level is Essential in Social Economics," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 1-16, January.

    More about this item


    coherence; ex post coordination; ex ante coordination; order; rules; abstract rules; concrete rules; Hayek; Bateson; coordination ex post; coordination ex ante; ordre; règles; règles abstraites; règles concrètes;

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