The Theory of the Firm
Critical Perspectives on Business and Management
Edited by Nicolai Foss
Routledge – 2000 – 1,696 pages
Firms have for a long time been part of the explanatory set-up of economics. However, it is only recently that economists have felt the need for an economic theory addressing:
* why firms are different
* why firms exist
* what determines their boundaries relative to 'the market'
* what determines their internal organization.
This collection documents the rise of the modern theory of the firm during the last two to three decades. It reprints classic writings from a diversity of perspectives, including not only contractual theories of the firm, but also knowledge-based theories and theories of the firm as an information processor. In addition, the collection features perspectives from business strategy and business history as well as methodological and doctrinal historical perspectives.
1. Overviews of the Field, 2. The Nexus of Contracts View, 3. Formal Agency Work, 4. Incomplete Contracts: The Coordination Perspective, 5. Incomplete Contracts: The Asset Specificity/Property Rights Perspective, 6. The Firm as an Information Processor, 7. Knowledge-Based Perspectives, 8. Perspectives from Business History and Firm Strategy, 9. Methodological Perspectives