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Inside the capitalist firm: An evolutionary theory of the principal agent-relation


  • Malcolm Dunn


This book deals with the inner life of the capitalist firm. There we find numerous conflicts, the most important of which concerns the individual employment relationship which is understood as a principal-agent problem between the manager, the principal, who issues orders that are to be followed by the employee, the agent. Whereas economic theory traditionally analyses this relationship from a (normative) perspective of the firm in order to support the manager in finding ways to influence the behavior of the employees, such that the latter – ideally – act on behalf of their superior, this book takes a neutral stance. It focusses on explaining individual behavioral patterns and the resulting interactions between the actors in the firm by taking sociological, institutional, and above all, psychological research into consideration. In doing so, insights are gained which challenge many assertions economists take for granted.

Suggested Citation

  • Malcolm Dunn, 2013. "Inside the capitalist firm: An evolutionary theory of the principal agent-relation," Potsdam Economic Studies 01, Universität Potsdam, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  • Handle: RePEc:pot:pestud:01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cagatay Telli & Ebru Voyvoda & Erinc Yeldan, 2008. "Macroeconomics of twin-targeting in Turkey: analytics of a financial computable general equilibrium model," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 227-242.
    2. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
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    More about this item


    Principal Agent Relation; Firm Behaviour; Evolutionary Economics; Transaction Costs; Conflict Management;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

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