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Alternative Theories of the Firm

Edited by Richard N. Langlois, Professor of Economics, University of Connecticut, US, Fu-Lai Tony Yu, Professor and Head, Department of Economics and Finance, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong and Paul L. Robertson, University of Tasmania, Australia
Alternative Theories of the Firm provides a range of fundamental readings embracing the economics of firm behaviour from a non-neoclassical perspective. The collection covers several basic topics including: the importance of transaction costs and agency theory for the analysis of firm behaviour; capabilities and resource-based theories of the firm; the economics of firm strategy; behavioural theories; Austrian theories; evolutionary theories; and the historical development of firms. The readings include selections from traditional masters as well as writings by more recent authors. This collection will be of great value both to scholars who want a summary of developments in the field and to students of industrial economics and corporate strategy.
Three volume set
Extent: 2,072 pp
Hardback Price: $1085.00 Web: $976.50
Publication Date: 2003
ISBN: 978 1 85898 758 3
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  • Business and Management
  • International Business
  • Economics and Finance
  • Industrial Organisation
Alternative Theories of the Firm provides a range of fundamental readings embracing the economics of firm behaviour from a non-neoclassical perspective. The collection covers several basic topics including: the importance of transaction costs and agency theory for the analysis of firm behaviour; capabilities and resource-based theories of the firm; the economics of firm strategy; behavioural theories; Austrian theories; evolutionary theories; and the historical development of firms. The readings include selections from traditional masters as well as writings by more recent authors. This collection will be of great value both to scholars who want a summary of developments in the field and to students of industrial economics and corporate strategy.
‘This is an impressive collection of 80 reprints of journal articles and book selections criticizing the neoclassical theory of the firm. . . These three volumes not only provide stimulating reading for scholars working on the modern theory of the firm, but will be a great help for academic teachers preparing their courses.’
– Rudolf Richter, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics

‘The editors have put together an excellent selection of the most important and thought-provoking papers on the economic nature of firms, including the classics from all major strands of writing on the topic. A student seeking a thorough understanding of the subject and its history could not find a better place to begin.’
– Louis Putterman, Brown University, US
81 articles, dating from 1890 to 1999
Contributors include: A. Alchian, K. Andrews, R. Coase, F. Knight, J. March, A. Marshall, E. Penrose, G. Richardson, H. Simon, O. Williamson
Contents
Volume I
Acknowledgements
Introduction Richard N. Langlois, Tony Fu-Lai Yu and Paul L. Robertson
PART I DEVELOPMENT IN THE THEORY OF THE FIRM: A CRITICAL REVIEW
1. Richard N. Langlois and Nicolai J. Foss (1999), ‘Capabilities and Governance: The Rebirth of Production in the Theory of Economic Organization’
PART II FOUNTAINHEADS OF THE MODERN THEORIES OF THE FIRM
2. Alfred Marshall (1890/1961), ‘Industrial Organization, Continued. Division of Labour. The Influence of Machinery’ and ‘Industrial Organization, Continued. The Concentration of Specialized Industries in Particular Localities’
3. Frank H. Knight (1921), ‘Enterprise and Profit’
4. R.H. Coase (1937), ‘The Nature of the Firm’
5. James G. March and Herbert A. Simon (1958), ‘Cognitive Limits on Rationality’
6. Edith Penrose (1995), ‘Foreword to the Third Edition’
7. G.B. Richardson (1959), ‘Equilibrium, Expectations and Information’
PART III TRANSACTION COSTS, PROPERTY RIGHTS AND ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION
8. H.B. Malmgren (1961), ‘Information, Expectations and the Theory of the Firm’
9. Armen A. Alchian and Harold Demsetz (1972), ‘Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization’
10. Benjamin Klein, Robert G. Crawford and Armen A. Alchian (1978), ‘Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process’
11. Steven N.S. Cheung (1983), ‘The Contractual Nature of the Firm’
12. Yoram Barzel (1987), ‘The Entrepreneur’s Reward for Self-policing’
13. Harold Demsetz (1988), ‘The Theory of the Firm Revisited’
PART IV AGENCY THEORIES, INCOMPLETE CONTRACTS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
14. Michael C. Jensen and William H. Meckling (1976), ‘Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure’
15. Oliver E. Williamson (1979), ‘Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractual Relations’
16. Eugene F. Fama (1980), ‘Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm’
17. Bengt Holmstrom (1982), ‘Moral Hazard in Teams’
18. Eugene F. Fama and Michael C. Jensen (1983), ‘Separation of Ownership and Control’
19. Oliver E. Williamson (1984), ‘The Economics of Governance: Framework and Implications’
20. Sanford J. Grossman and Oliver D. Hart (1986), ‘The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration’
21. Oliver Hart (1989), ‘An Economist’s Perspective on the Theory of the Firm’
22. Bengt Holmstrom and Paul Milgrom (1991), ‘Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design’
23. John Moore (1992), ‘The Firm as a Collection of Assets’
24. Roy Radner (1992), ‘Hierarchy: The Economics of Managing’
25. Michael C. Jensen and William H. Meckling (1992), ‘Specific and General Knowledge, and Organizational Structure’
Name Index


Volume II
Acknowledgements
An introduction by the editors to all three volumes appears in Volume I
PART I CAPABILITIES AND RESOURCE-BASED VIEWS
1. G.B. Richardson (1972), ‘The Organisation of Industry’
2. Richard R. Nelson and Sidney G. Winter (1982), ‘Organizational Capabilities and Behavior’
3. Birger Wernerfelt (1984), ‘A Resource-based View of the Firm’
4. Wesley M. Cohen and Daniel A. Levinthal (1990), ‘Absorptive Capacity: A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation’
5. Jay Barney (1991), ‘Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage’
6. Kathleen R. Conner (1991), ‘A Historical Comparison of Resource-Based Theory and Five Schools of Thought Within Industrial Organization Economics: Do We Have a New Theory of the Firm?’
7. Joseph T. Mahoney and J. Rajendran Pandian (1992), ‘The Resource-based View Within the Conversation of Strategic Management’
8. L. Marengo (1992), ‘Coordination and Organizational Learning in the Firm’
9. Margaret A. Peteraf (1993), ‘The Cornerstones of Competitive Advantage: A Resource-based View’
10. Nicolai J. Foss (1996), ‘Capabilities and the Theory of the Firm’
11. David J. Teece, Gary Pisano and Amy Shuen (1997), ‘Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management’
PART II STRATEGIC THEORIES OF THE FIRM
12. Kenneth R. Andrews (1971/1980), ‘The Concept of Corporate Strategy’
13. Michael E. Porter (1981), ‘The Contributions of Industrial Organization To Strategic Management’
14. Richard P. Rumelt (1984), ‘Towards a Strategic Theory of the Firm’
15. Sidney G. Winter (1987), ‘Knowledge and Competence as Strategic Assets’
16. C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel (1990), ‘The Core Competence of the Corporation’
17. Richard R. Nelson (1991), ‘Why Do Firms Differ, and How Does It Matter?’
18. Raphael Amit and Paul J.H. Schoemaker (1993), ‘Strategic Assets and Organizational Rent’
19. David J. Teece, Richard Rumelt, Giovanni Dosi and Sidney Winter (1994), ‘Understanding Corporate Coherence: Theory and Evidence’
PART III THE TECHNOLOGICAL PARADIGM
20. David J. Teece (1980), ‘Economies of Scope and the Scope of the Enterprise’
21. Giovanni Dosi (1982), ‘Technological Paradigms and Technological Trajectories’
22. David J. Teece (1986), ‘Profiting from Technological Innovation: Implications for Integration, Collaboration, Licensing and Public Policy’
23. Giovanni Dosi and Luigi Orsenigo (1988), ‘Coordination and Transformation: An Overview of Structures, Behaviours and Change in Evolutionary Environments’
24. David J. Teece (1988), ‘Technological Change and the Nature of the Firm’
PART IV BEHAVIORAL THEORIES OF THE FIRM
25. Richard M. Cyert and James G. March (1959/1996), ‘A Behavioral Theory of Organizational Objectives’
26. Herbert A. Simon (1962), ‘New Developments in the Theory of the Firm’
27. Fritz Machlup (1967), ‘Theories of the Firm: Marginalist, Behavioral, Managerial’
28. Harvey Leibenstein (1966), ‘Allocative Efficiency vs. "X-efficiency"’
29. Herbert A. Simon (1979), ‘Rational Decision Making in Business Organizations’
30. James G. March (1991), ‘Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning’
Name Index

Volume III
Acknowledgements
An introduction by the editors to all three volumes appears in Volume I
PART I AUSTRIAN INSIGHTS
1. Morris Silver (1984), ‘A Model of Vertical Integration and Disintegration with Supporting Evidence’
2. Nicolai Juul Foss (1993), ‘The Theory of the Firm: The Austrians as Precursors and Critics of Contemporary Theory’
3. Ulrich Witt (1998), ‘Imagination and Leadership: The Neglected Dimension of an Evolutionary Theory of the Firm’
4. Tony Fu-Lai Yu (1999), ‘Toward a Praxeological Theory of the Firm’
PART II THE FIRM AND THE MARKET
5. Allyn A. Young (1928), ‘Increasing Returns and Economic Progress’
6. George J. Stigler (1951), ‘The Division of Labor is Limited by the Extent of the Market’
7. Edward Ames and Nathan Rosenberg (1965), ‘The Progressive Division and Specialization of Industries’
8. Axel Leijonhufvud (1986), ‘Capitalism and the Factory System’
9. Brian J. Loasby (1989), ‘Knowledge and Organization: Marshall’s Theory of Economic Progress and Coordination’
10. Arthur L. Stinchcombe (1990), ‘Individuals’ Skills as Information Processing: Charles F. Sabel and the Division of Labor’
PART III HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE FIRM
11. Gardiner C. Means (1962), ‘Collective Capitalism and Economic Theory’
12. Stephen A. Marglin (1974), ‘What Do Bosses Do? The Origins and Functions of Hierarchy in Capitalist Production’
13. Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. (1977), ‘Introduction: The Visible Hand’
14. Charles Sabel and Jonathan Zeitlin (1985), ‘Historical Alternatives to Mass Production: Politics, Markets and Technology in Nineteenth-Century Industrialization’
15. David S. Landes (1986), ‘What Do Bosses Really Do?’
16. Alfred D. Chandler (1992), ‘Organizational Capabilities and the Economic History of the Industrial Enterprise’
17. Paul L. Robertson and Lee J. Alston (1992), ‘Technological Choice and the Organization of Work in Capitalist Firms’
18. William Lazonick (1992), ‘Controlling the Market for Corporate Control: The Historical Significance of Managerial Capitalism’
19. Michael C. Jensen (1993), ‘Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems’
20. S.R.H. Jones (1994), ‘The Origins of the Factory System in Great Britain: Technology, Transaction Costs or Exploitation?’
PART IV TOWARDS A SYNTHESIS: AN EVOLUTIONARY THEORY OF THE FIRM
21. Richard N. Langlois (1988), ‘Economic Change and the Boundaries of the Firm’
22. Sidney G. Winter (1990), ‘Survival, Selection, and Inheritance in Evolutionary Theories of Organization’
23. Richard N. Langlois and Paul L. Robertson (1993), ‘Business Organization as a Coordination Problem: Toward a Dynamic Theory of the Boundaries of the Firm’
24. Giovanni Dosi and Luigi Marengo (1994), ‘Some Elements of an Evolutionary Theory of Organizational Competences’
25. Nicolai Juul Foss, Christian Knudsen and Cynthia A. Montgomery (1995), ‘An Exploration of Common Ground: Integrating Evolutionary and Strategic Theories of the Firm’
Name Index