Notes on Institutional Complementarities and Organizational Forms
This paper analyses the concept of organizational forms, and derives some implications for the economics of production organization. To this end, after pointing out the role of knowledge in the organization of production, we discuss the theories based on technology (new institutional economics) and property rights (so-called radical school). When the effect of property rights is not taken into account, technology alone entails unique solution to the problem of production organization. After ruling out this technologically deterministic argument, by recourse to a simple model, we study the complementarities between these two domains. Finally, we derive some implications: (a) the asymmetry between the characteristics of labour and capital under the existing property relations, (b) the importance of workers’ preferences for different ways of production organization. In so doing, we show that efficiency driven arguments on the relative success of different organizational forms may be misleading. Hence, we argue that, change in production organization should be described not as a linear path, but rather as a branching tree.
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