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The Theory of the Growth of the Firm Paperback – November 23, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0199573844 ISBN-10: 0199573840 Edition: 4th

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The Theory of the Growth of the Firm + An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change (Belknap Press) + The Theory of Economic Development: An Inquiry into Profits, Capital, Credit, Interest, and the Business Cycle (Social Science Classics Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 4 edition (November 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199573840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199573844
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #758,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"The basic propositions that Edith Penrose put forth in her book The Theory of the Growth of the Firm were provocative and path breaking. However, few then ventured to go down the path she blazed. Time has passed, and over the last decade that path has become crowded with scholars of firm behavior, some of whom have only the dimmest awareness that the ideas they are working with were first put forward by Penrose. How good it is to have her book, long out of print, available again. Her insights, her arguments, still read fresh and right, and finally will get the attention they warrant."--Richard R. Nelson, Columbia University


About the Author

Edith Penrose was formerly at SOAS and INSEAD. Dr. Christos Pitelis is Director at the Centre for International Business and Management (CIBAM), Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Ibis on December 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
this is one of the books we can call a real classic.
still it gives us many insights.
nowadays people write very tricky ways.
this is different but authentic.
I like it.
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By Oliver Shu on November 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is classical theory, that was the foundation of theory and papers and furthermore, the theory has been claimed for over 53 years, it was well-recognized and well accepted by scholars and researchers, the theory that we can call it build to last theory for sure. I really enjoy as a PhD. candidate, and I would like to strongly recommend for reading this sound book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book summarizes Ms. Penrose's extensive field research and thought on how firms grow, why they grow, and if there are inherent limits to growth. It is almost an astonishment to read because much of it seems like it could have been written last year. Her core argument is that as firms gain experience in some areas, they automatically generate knowledge embedded in their management (human capital) which can be used to plan and execute growth. That, coupled with entrepreneurship, leads nearly inevitably to growth. Students of business and economics will be interested in her descriptions and arguments.

Interestingly, her ideas that firms create within themselves specialized human capital as an asset that can be an engine for growth resonates well with more modern theories of differentiation and value networks as a source of competitive advantage. On the other hand, the message for today's highly diverse and dispersed organizations should be that communication and internal forums for ideas are critical to tap the human capital or it will go wasted. Her concepts essentially predict why good people leave firms for more opportunity, why companies that leverage internal communications for innovation are more competitive, and why M&A is so fundamental to growth strategies. These are all current topics; don't read this book as an historical view, read it to learn how to improve your business.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This classic book has withstood the passage of time. It explains quite fully the intricacies of how a firm grows and develops. The style is engaging and the coverage of possibilities for the growth of a firm are compelling. It has to be read with focus and slowly.

Philip G. Rochford
Author & Personal Empowerment Specialist
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tant d'économistes travaillent sans s'interroger sur ce qu'est une firme qu'il est passionnant de lire un ouvrage, déjà ancien, d'une économiste qui se situe en dehors de la logique néo-classique de la théorie de l'agence (à la Jensen-Meckling) ou de la théorie des coûts de transaction (à la Coase ou à la Williamson) pour nous parler de l'entreprise et de ce qui obsède la plupart de ses acteurs : comment progresser? comment croître? Edith Penrose est à l'origine de ce qu'on appelle l'approche par les ressources de l'entreprise. Mais la lecture de son livre apporte bien plus que ce que suggèrent les manuels d'économie qui la citent en deux lignes. Elle donne des indications extrêmement précises sur les mécanismes qui contribuent à la croissance des entreprises. Sa lecture éclaire quelques unes des difficultés de l'économie française qui souffre, comme chacun sait, d'être trop duale : nous avons une quarantaine de très grandes entreprises, de dimension internationale qui n'ont plus d'espace de croissance chez nous, et une multitude de petites entreprises qui n'arrivent pas à croître faute de ressources financières mais aussi de compétences, de ces compétences que l'on acquiert dans les grandes entreprises et là seulement. Sa lecture est très stimulante et donne des pistes pour sortir de l'ornière dans lequel se trouve notre économie.

Il semble me souvenir que ce livre avait été publié en français aux éditions Homme et Techniques il y a de nombreuses années. A défaut d'être réédité, il faut se précipiter sur cette réédition britannique d'un des grands textes de l'économie industrielle.
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