dunnettreader + firms-organization   16

The Coordinated Activity Theory of the Firm by Peter Dorman :: SSRN
Abstract
This paper proceeds from the assumption that economies are characterized by a high degree of interactive nonconvexity in most activities and at most scales. The consequence is nonconvex production and preference sets and the corresponding inefficiency of myopic algorithms. One application of this perspective is the theory of the firm. Conventional theories explain the existence, boundaries and internal organization of firms on the basis of contracting costs that impede the otherwise optimizing properties of market decentralization. I propose instead an approach in which the motive for organizing production within rather than between institutions is to internalize nonconvexities, thereby obtaining the benefit of explicitly coordinated plans. A useful device for representing this problem is the profit landscape, understood to be nonconvex in the sense that fitness landscapes are in evolutionary theory. Firms face three types of challenges, optimizing with respect to a particular profit hill (the problem analyzed in standard microeconomics), selecting a desirable hill, and achieving flexibility to transition between hills in the face of environmental change. These entail tradeoffs, which are reflected in the diversity of personnel, organizational, and innovation strategies observed in actual enterprises. While the use of the landscape metaphor in coordinated activity theory resembles a similar deployment in evolutionary economics, the two approaches differ in the questions they ask and the units of observation and analysis they employ. The applicability of the coordinated activity model is underscored by its congruence with the bulk of management literature, which can be understood more readily in terms of hill-selection than, or in addition to, the hill-climbing paradigm of conventional economics. In this sense, the existing management literature already provides a body of empirical and applied support for coordinated activity theory, although not generally for the socially-founded objectives of economics.

Keywords: theory of the firm, evolutionary economics, nonconvexities
firms-theory  downloaded  SSRN  firms-organization  firms-structure 
march 2018 by dunnettreader
David Ciepley - Beyond Public and Private: Toward a Political Theory of the Corporation (2013) | American Political Science Review on JSTOR
This article challenges the liberal, contractual theory of the corporation and argues for replacing it with a political theory of the corporation. Corporations are government-like in their powers, and government grants them both their external "personhood" and their internal governing authority. They are thus not simply private. Yet they are privately organized and financed and therefore not simply public. Corporations transgress all the basic dichotomies that structure liberal treatments of law, economics, and politics: public/private, government/market, privilege/equality, and status/contract. They are "franchise governments" that cannot be satisfactorily assimilated to liberalism. The liberal effort to assimilate them, treating them as contractually constituted associations of private property owners, endows them with rights they ought not have, exacerbates their irresponsibility, and compromises their principal public benefit of generating long-term growth. Instead, corporations need to be placed in a distinct category—neither public nor private, but "corporate"—to be regulated by distinct rules and norms. - downloaded via iphone to dbox
organizations  institutional_economics  corporations  corporate_citizenship  markets-dependence_on_government  article  corporate_control  institutions  management  public-private_gaps  bibliography  social_contract  liberalism  jstor  property_rights  downloaded  corporate_law  political_theory  managerialism  corporate_governance  corporate_personhood  firms-organization  property 
july 2017 by dunnettreader
Deepak Malhotra & J. Keith Murnighan - The Effects of Contracts on Interpersonal Trust (2002)| Administrative Science Quarterly at JSTOR
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 47, No. 3 (Sep., 2002), pp. 534-559
DOI: 10.2307/3094850
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3094850
Topics: Contracts, Cooperation, Trust, Interpersonal interaction, Psychology, Social interaction, Social psychology, Situational attribution, Motivation, Organizational behavior
social_psychology  contracts  article  altruism  moral_psychology  punishment-altruistic  trust  organizations  downloaded  cooperation  firms-organization  motivation 
april 2017 by dunnettreader
Edward Kane - Theory of How and Why Central-Bank Culture Supports Predatory Risk-Taking at Megabanks | INET (Dec 2015)
This paper applies Schein’s model of organizational culture to financial firms and their prudential regulators. It identifies a series of hard-to-change cultural norms and assumptions that support go-for-broke risk-taking by megabanks that meets the every-day definition of theft. The problem is not to find new ways to constrain this behavior, but to change the norms that support it by establishing that managers of megabanks owe duties of loyalty, competence, and care directly to taxpayers. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  downloaded  financial_system  financial_regulation  norms-business  incentives  incentives-distortions  banking  organizations  firms-theory  firms-structure  firms-organization 
february 2016 by dunnettreader
Emily Erikson : Between Monopoly and Free Trade: The English East India Company, 1600–1757 | Princeton University Press
The EIF was one of the most powerful and enduring organizations in history. "Between Monopoly and Free Trade" locates the source of that success in the innovative policy by which the Court of Directors granted employees the right to pursue their own commercial interests while in the firm’s employ. Exploring trade network dynamics, decision-making processes, and ports and organizational context, Emily Erikson demonstrates why the EIC was a dominant force in the expansion of trade between Europe and Asia, and she sheds light on the related problems of why England experienced rapid economic development and how the relationship between Europe and Asia shifted in the 18thC and 19thC.(..) Building on the organizational infrastructure of the Company and the sophisticated commercial institutions of the markets of the East, employees constructed a cohesive internal network of peer communications that directed English trading ships during their voyages. This network integrated Company operations, encouraged innovation, and increased the Company’s flexibility, adaptability, and responsiveness to local circumstance. -- assistant professor in the department of sociology and the school of management (by courtesy) at Yale University, as well as a member of the Council of South Asian Studies. -- excerpt Chapter 1 downloaded pdf to Note
books  kindle-available  buy  economic_history  business_history  17thC  18thC  19thC  British_history  British_Empire  British_foreign_policy  colonialism  imperialism  networks-business  networks-political  networks-information  networks-social  India  Indian_Ocean  Central_Asia  Chinese_history  China-international_relations  monopolies  trading_companies  trading_privileges  VOC  East_India_Company  trade  trade_finance  shipping  ports  British_Navy  business-and-politics  business_practices  business_influence  business-norms  nabobs  MPs  Board_of_Trade  Parliament  entrepreneurs  organizations  firms-structure  firms-organization  consumer_revolution  exports  Navigation_Acts  Anglo-Dutch_wars  French_foreign_policy  competition-interstate  risk-mitigation  risk_management  corporate_governance  corporate_citizenship  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Andrew W. Lo - The Gordon Gekko Effect: The Role of Culture in the Financial Industry | NBER June 2015
NBER Working Paper No. 21267 -- Culture is a potent force in shaping individual and group behavior, yet it has received scant attention in the context of financial risk management and the recent financial crisis. I present a brief overview of the role of culture according to psychologists, sociologists, and economists, and then present a specific framework for analyzing culture in the context of financial practices and institutions in which three questions are answered: (1) What is culture?; (2) Does it matter?; and (3) Can it be changed? I illustrate the utility of this framework by applying it to five concrete situations—Long Term Capital Management; AIG Financial Products; Lehman Brothers and Repo 105; Société Générale’s rogue trader; and the SEC and the Madoff Ponzi scheme—and conclude with a proposal to change culture via “behavioral risk management.” -- check SSRN
paper  paywall  SSRN  financial_instiutions  business_practices  business-norms  risk_management  economic_culture  financial_crisis  financial_regulation  incentives  incentives-distortions  social_psychology  economic_sociology  firms-structure  firms-organization 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Frédérique Leblanc , review essay - The FNAC: A Story of Standardization - Books & ideas - 5 January 2011
Reviewed: Vincent Chabault, La FNAC, entre commerce et culture, Paris, Puf, 2010. 272p., 25 €. -- What traces remain of the two individuals, both former Trotskyites, who founded the FNAC in 1954? What role did the FNAC play in the commodification of culture, and what remains of the company’s original mission? Who are the company’s employees, and under what conditions do they work? Vincent Chabault’s recent book retraces the history of this company, which has received as much high praise over the years as virulent criticism. Two sets of questions have been asked. First, how was the company able to “absorb” changes in the business environment, and at what cost to its original mission? Secondly, what working at the FNAC has meant to two generations of the firm’s employees? -- interesting on growth of the culturally middle class in the post-war period, -- as in the US with growth, stagnation and polarization of what were originally knowledge worker jobs strongly attached to the firm with significant worker autonomy and internal advancement into "management" and disengaged interchangeable low paid low skilled staff
books  reviews  20thC  social_history  France  business_practices  labor  middle_class  economic_culture  culture_industries  firms-organization  business-norms  business_history  unions 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Thorsten Beck, Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Maria Soledad Martinez Peria - Foreign banks and small and medium enterprises: Are they really estranged? | VOX, CEPR’s Policy Portal - 01 April 2010
Small and medium enterprises are engines of economic growth. But what kind of market structure is more conducive to financing these enterprises? This column argues that different types of bank, applying different types of lending technology and organisational structures can all play a vital role in financing them. They're working with a big data set they developed -- shows quite different lending technologies as between foreign and domestic, but similar outcomes in volume of lending, conditions, pricing etc. The big differences are cross couhtry, where thoorer, less developed suffer from less access to credit for investment, higher pricing, etc -- which reflects overall economic conditions and business environment. -- nice use of data -- downloaded page as pdf to Note
financial_system  development  emerging_markets  LDCs  SMEs  access_to_finance  banking  financial_instiutions  cross-border  firms-structure  firms-organization  credit_ratings  financial_sector_development  financial_innovation  investment  collateral  downloaded 
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Andrew C.W. Lund and Gregg D. Polsky - Report: Can Executive Compensation Reform Cure Short-Termism? | Brookings Institution - March 2013
There is an increasingly pervasive view among corporate governance observers that senior managers are too focused on short-term results at the expense of long-term interests. Concerns about “short-termism” have been expressed within the financial industry context and outside of it, but because of the recent financial crisis, much of the discussion has been directed at financial institutions. To combat short-termism, several commentators have advocated executive compensation reform to encourage senior managers to adopt a longer-term perspective. Yet these reforms will likely prove ineffective because of other significant pressures on managers to maintain current stock prices. -- Paper highlights include: #-# A general overview short-termism and the causes and effect of overweighing short-term results relative to long-term consequences when making decisions. #-# Proposals to redesign compensation structures to combat short-termism. #-# Questioning the effectiveness of compensation proposals. #-# A look at the new corporate governance world. #-# An examination of changes to senior management job security. #-# Policy proposals for better options to mitigate short-termism. -- didn't download it
paper  corporate_governance  executive_compensation  capital_markets  incentives-distortions  short-termism  firms-organization  management  managerialism 
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Caroline W. Lee - Do-It-Yourself Democracy: The Rise of the Public Engagement Industry (Jan 2015) - Oxford University Press
Citizen participation has undergone a radical shift since anxieties about "bowling alone" seized the nation in the 1990s. Many pundits and observers have cheered America's twenty-first century civic renaissance-an explosion of participatory innovations in public life. Invitations to "have your say!" and "join the discussion!" have proliferated. But has the widespread enthusiasm for maximizing citizen democracy led to real change? Sociologist Caroline W. Lee examines how participatory innovations have reshaped American civic life over the past two decades. Lee looks at the public engagement industry that emerged to serve government, corporate, and nonprofit clients seeking to gain a handle on the increasingly noisy demands of their constituents and stakeholders. The beneficiaries of new forms of democratic empowerment are not only humble citizens, but also the engagement experts who host the forums. Does it matter if the folks deepening democracy are making money at it? How do they make sense of the contradictions inherent in their roles? In investigating public engagement practitioners' everyday anxieties and larger worldviews, we see reflected the strange meaning of power in contemporary institutions. New technologies and deliberative practices have democratized the ways in which organizations operate, but Lee argues that they have also been marketed and sold as tools to facilitate cost-cutting, profitability, and other management goals - and that public deliberation has burdened everyday people with new responsibilities without delivering on its promises of empowerment.
books  kindle-available  US_society  US_politics  US_government  local_government  local_politics  democracy  democracy_deficit  political_participation  firms-organization  hierarchy  decision_theory  NGOs  deliberation-public  public_policy  public_goods  public-private_partnerships  political_culture 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
Kathleen Perkins Miller, George Serafeim - Chief Sustainability Officers: Who Are They and What Do They Do? (revised September 2014) :: SSRN
Kathleen Perkins Miller, Miller Consultants -- George Serafeim, Harvard University - Harvard Business School *--* Chapter 8 in Leading Sustainable Change, Oxford University Press, 2014 *--* While a number of studies document that organizations go through numerous stages as they increase their commitment to sustainability over time, we know little about the role of the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) in this process. Using survey and interview data we analyze how a CSO’s authority and responsibilities differ across organizations that are in different stages of sustainability commitment. We document increasing organizational authority of the CSO as organizations increase their commitment to sustainability moving from Compliance to Efficiency and then to Innovation. However, we also document a decentralization of decision rights from the CSO to different functions, largely driven by sustainability strategies becoming more idiosyncratic at the Innovation stage. The study concludes with a discussion of practices that CSOs argue to accelerate the commitment of organizations to sustainability. -- Pages in PDF File: 22 -- Keywords: sustainability, organizational change, Chief Sustainability Officer, innovation, -- downloaded pdf to Note
chapter  SSRN  business_practices  business-norms  CSR  sustainability  firms-organization  firms-structure  Innovation  corporate_governance  accountability  institutional_change  institutional_capacity  downloaded 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
George Serafeim - The Role of the Corporation in Society: An Alternative View and Opportunities for Future Research b(revised June 2014) :: SSRN
Harvard University - Harvard Business School *--* A long-standing ideology in business education has been that a corporation is run for the sole interest of its shareholders. I present an alternative view where increasing concentration of economic activity and power in the world’s largest corporations, the Global 1000, has opened the way for managers to consider the interests of a broader set of stakeholders rather than only shareholders. Having documented that this alternative view better fits actual corporate conduct, I discuss opportunities for future research. Specifically, I call for research on the materiality of environmental and social issues for the future financial performance of corporations, the design of incentive and control systems to guide strategy execution, corporate reporting, and the role of investors in this new paradigm. -- Pages in PDF File: 27 -- Keywords: corporate performance, corporate size, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, accounting -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  corporate_governance  corporate_citizenship  global_economy  global_governance  international_political_economy  shareholder_value  shareholders  CSR  disclosure  accountability  accounting  institutional_economics  institutional_investors  incentives  institutional_change  long-term_orientation  business-and-politics  business-norms  business_practices  business_influence  sustainability  MNCs  firms-theory  firms-structure  firms-organization  power  power-concentration  concentration-industry  downloaded 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
Robert G. Eccles, Ioannis Ioannou, George Serafeim - The Impact of Corporate Sustainability on Organizational Processes and Performance - November 23, 2011 :: SSRN - Management Science, Forthcoming
Robert G. Eccles, Harvard Business School -- Ioannis Ioannou, London Business School -- George Serafeim, Harvard University - Harvard Business School *--* We investigate the effect of a corporate culture of sustainability on multiple facets of corporate behavior and performance outcomes. Using a matched sample of 180 companies, we find that corporations that voluntarily adopted environmental and social policies many years ago – termed as High Sustainability companies – exhibit fundamentally different characteristics from a matched sample of firms that adopted almost none of these policies – termed as Low Sustainability companies. In particular, we find that the boards of directors of these companies are more likely to be responsible for sustainability and top executive incentives are more likely to be a function of sustainability metrics. Moreover, they are more likely to have organized procedures for stakeholder engagement, to be more long-term oriented, and to exhibit more measurement and disclosure of nonfinancial information. Finally, we provide evidence that High Sustainability companies significantly outperform their counterparts over the long-term, both in terms of stock market and accounting performance. The outperformance is stronger in sectors where the customers are individual consumers instead of companies, companies compete on the basis of brands and reputations, and products significantly depend upon extracting large amounts of natural resources. -- Keywords: sustainability, corporate social responsibility, culture, governance, disclosure, performance -- didn't download
paper  SSRN  corporate_governance  corporate_citizenship  corporate_finance  CSR  brands  reputation  incentives  sustainability  long-term_orientation  natural_resources  firms-theory  firms-structure  firms-organization  executive_compensation  business-norms  profit  disclosure 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
Geoffrey Jones - Entrepreneurs, Firms and Global Wealth Since 1850 - March 2013 | SSRN
Modern economic growth diffused from its origins in the North Sea region to elsewhere in western and northern Europe, across the Atlantic, and later to Japan, but struggled to get traction elsewhere. The societal and cultural embeddedness of the new technologies posed significant entrepreneurial challenges. The best equipped to overcome these challenges were often entrepreneurs based in minorities who held significant advantages in capital-raising and trust levels. By the interwar years productive modern business enterprise was emerging across the non-Western world. Often local and Western managerial practices were combined to produce hybrid forms of business enterprise. After 1945 many governmental policies designed to facilitate catch-up ended up crippling these emergent business enterprises without putting effective alternatives in place. The second global economy has provided more opportunities for catch up from the Rest, and has seen the rapid growth of globally competitive businesses in Asia, Latin America and Africa. This is explained not only by institutional reforms, but by new ways for business in the Rest to access knowledge and capital, including returning diaspora, business schools and management consultancies. Smarter state capitalism was also a greater source of international competitive advantage than the state intervention often seen in the past. -- downloaded pdf to Note
economic_history  development  industrialization  institutional_economics  19thC  20thC  21stC  post-WWII  competition-interstate  globalization  industrial_policy  emtrepreneurs  diaspora  SMEs  technology_transfer  trust  access_to_finance  modernization_theory  business_history  firms-organization  downloaded  SSRN  Industrial_Revolution 
april 2015 by dunnettreader

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