Epistemic Economics and Organization
Forms of Rationality and Governance for a Wiser Economy
Routledge – 2012 – 156 pages
This book proposes a new approach to economics, management and organization that should help in making economic organization ‘wise’, ‘innovative’ and ‘robust’ in an uncertain and risky world. Although the modern economy and society is ‘knowledge intensive’, Anna Grandori argues that the dominant economic, organizational and behavioural models neglect to a large extent the problem of valid knowledge construction and effective knowledge governance.
The book integrates inputs from economics and behavioural science with insights from the philosophy of knowledge to define new micro-foundations: neither a calculative, deductive and omniscient ‘rational actor’; nor an experiential, adaptive and biased ‘behavioural actor’; but a knowledgeable and imaginative ‘epistemic actor’.
The implications for contracts and organizations, sustained also by insights from law, are shown to be far reaching, including a new view of the nature of the firm as an entity-establishing agreement under which to discover uses of resources under uncertainty, and as a democratic institution.
'In this thought-provoking book, Anna Grandori takes on fundamental questions regarding our understanding of economic rationality and the governance of institutions in society. In much needed fashion, her inspiring analysis succeeds in providing profound criticism of received wisdom, as well as devising constructive theoretical alternatives. A book little in format, big in conception!' — Fredrik Tell, Professor in Management, Linköping University, Sweden
Introduction Part I. Microeconomic foundations: from bounded to epistemic rationality Part II. Contracts and the firm beyond transactions: the governance of knowledge and association Part III Organization design beyond comparative assessment: the discovery of forms and forms for discovery Conclusion
Anna Grandori is Professor of Business Organization at Bocconi University, Italy.