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Markets and Hierarchies : Analysis and Antitrust Implications

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0029347805
ISBN-10: 0029347807
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Kenneth J. Arrow Nobel Laureate in Economics Oliver Williamson's work has brought to our attention in a fruitful study the ways that economic and other organizations differ in their behavior from the pure market model? The direct links among individuals and the need to respond in ways which reflect limited ability to cope with uncertainty and complexity has strong implications for the nature of economic contracts, the possibility of markets, and substitution of hierarchical and other direct relations for the price system. I find his work especially important because in introducing a need for new principles in understanding internal organization, he has not lost sight of the importance of external market pressures in the direction of economic activity. The publication of this book is a powerful addition to our knowledge in this area and equally a stimulus to further research.

Administrative Science Quarterly No student of organizations should fail to read this book....ought to provide food for argument and further research for at least the next decade.

Contemporary Sociology ...presents a concise, coherent, and powerful framework that will greatly enhance our thinking about complex organization, corporate conspiracy, public and business policy, and regulation....One of its major strengths is the merger of economic and sociological literature while invoking the information paradigm....highly rewarding.

Challenge ...deserves serious attention from anyone who is interested in public policy toward private enterprise.

About the Author

Oliver E. Williamson is Charles and William L. Day Professor of Economics and Social Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the University's Center for Study of Organizational Innovation? A Guggenheim Fellow and former Special Economic Assistant to the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, he is author of The Economics of Discretionary Behavior and Corporate Control and Business Behavior.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (January 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029347807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029347805
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,287,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Markets and Hierarchies is considered a most influential contribution to the institutional economics approach in the strategy literature. Introducing a transaction-cost dimension, it bridges economics and organization theory. Hence, both economists and researchers from the fields of social sciences can find this book appealing. Williamson begins by claiming that conventional economic analysis makes unnecessary assumptions and is too abstract to capture the characteristics of economic exchange and its effect on the transaction consummation mechanism, namely the preference of intrafirm versus interfirm trade. Then he introduces concepts of bounded rationality and opportunism to expand the discussion of organizational forms. He suggests the transaction as the appropriate unit of analysis to evaluate hierarchies and markets. The main argument in the book is presented in the Organizational Failures Framework (OFF), which is designed to specify which mode will be relatively efficient in formulating and executing contracts based on a combination of environmental and human factors. The OFF offers two combinations, a derived condition and a general system effect to explain organizational failures: (1) Bounded Rationality and Uncertainty/Complexity - Faced with conditions of uncertainty and complexity, where the decision tree is not clear, bounded rationality poses information processing and communication problems. A hierarchy would be preferred to a market in this case because internal organization can economize on bounded rationality. (2) Opportunism and Small Numbers - Williamson extends the self-interest assumption in microeconomics to suggest opportunistic behavior.Read more ›
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By Mehmet on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
incredible. this product is very good. thanks a lot. it comes faster than expect. Markets and hierarchies : Analysis and Antitrust Implications is perfect
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By A Customer on June 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
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