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The Knowledge-Based Approach: An Organizational Economics Perspective


  • Kirsten Foss
  • Nicolai Foss


Proponents of the emerging knowledge-based (resource-based, competence-based, etc.) theory of the firm have subjected more traditional economics of organization theories to strong critiques. Rather than directly answering this critique, we examine key ideas of the knowledge-based approach, and argue that these are not necessarily in conflict with basic ideas from organizational economics (particularly ideas relating to the property rights approach), but are either complementary to or consistent with these. In fact, property rights economics and other organizational economics ideas may at least to some extent constitute a much needed micro-foundation for the knowledge-based perspective. The purpose of this exercise is 1) to facilitate dialogue, 2) to dispel false claims of insurmountable differences between the two approaches, and 3) to establish what is genuinely different in the knowledge-based approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Kirsten Foss & Nicolai Foss, "undated". "The Knowledge-Based Approach: An Organizational Economics Perspective," IVS/CBS Working Papers 98-5, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy, Copenhagen Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:ivs:iivswp:98-5

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    Cited by:

    1. Achleitner, Ann-Kristin & Fingerle, Christian H., 2004. "What you get is what you need? The role of venture capitalists in managing growth of new ventures," CEFS Working Paper Series 2004-05, Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen (TUM), Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS).

    More about this item


    economic organization; firm knowledge; governance;

    JEL classification:

    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics
    • B49 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Other

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