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We argue that the stakeholder and CSR literature can benefit from more systematic thinking about ownership. We discuss general notions of ownership in the economics and…
We argue that the stakeholder and CSR literature can benefit from more systematic thinking about ownership. We discuss general notions of ownership in the economics and legal literature and the entrepreneurial notion of ownership we have developed in prior work. On this basis, we argue that stakeholder theory needs to deal more systematically with ownership as an economic function that can be exercised with greater or lesser ability, may be complementary to other economic functions, and works better when assigned to homogeneous groups. Some stakeholder groups are likely to lack what we call “ownership competence,” even if they have made relationship-specific investments, in part because of a diversity of interests. We also discuss CSR from the perspective of ownership and support Friedman’s original position, but with a twist. The point of Friedman’s paper is not that firms “should” maximize profits, but that managerial pursuit of “socially responsible” activities in a discretionary way imposes costs on owners. We suggest this problem is exacerbated with entrepreneurial managers who can devise new ways to prop up their self-interested actions with new creative CSR initiatives.
As the prioritization of family goals depends on the resolution of family conflict, this study's purpose is to explain how a dominant coalition (DC) of parental family…
As the prioritization of family goals depends on the resolution of family conflict, this study's purpose is to explain how a dominant coalition (DC) of parental family members prioritizes their family economic and non-economic goals when faced with different types of family conflict.
A conceptual framework is developed drawing on a socio-cognitive approach to explain a family's goal formation process. This socio-cognitive approach extends the stakeholder salience underpinnings of family influence/essence theory. It shows that family conflict arises from the complex and novel social settings of a family business and that a DC prioritizes their family's goals by drawing on heuristic biases to resolve such family conflict.
A key finding of this study is the introduction of a distinct type of agency to family influence/essence research. Unlike the salient explanations, a family's goal formulation process is attributed to a DC's heuristic response in resolving their family business conflict.
Scholars have called for a greater need to investigate the social and cognitive underpinnings of a family's goal formation process. While the social settings of a family business are often explained in terms of family conflict, an understanding of the sources of such conflict and their resolution have received limited attention. This study opens new avenues to understanding the sources of such family conflict and the cognitive mechanisms needed to overcome them. This understanding is critical not only to the prioritization of a family's goals but also to the idea that “influence” defines the essence of a family business.
Ronald Coase's landmark 1937 article, “The Nature of the Firm,” framed the study of organizational economics for decades. Coase asked three fundamental questions: Why do…
Ronald Coase's landmark 1937 article, “The Nature of the Firm,” framed the study of organizational economics for decades. Coase asked three fundamental questions: Why do firms exist? What determines their boundaries? How should firms be organized internally? To answer the first question, Coase famously appealed to “the costs of using the price mechanism,” what we now call transaction costs or contracting costs, a concept that blossomed in the 1970s and 1980s into an elaborate theory of why firms exist (Alchian & Demsetz, 1972; Williamson, 1975, 1979, 1985; Klein, Crawford, & Alchian, 1978; Grossman & Hart, 1986). The second question has generated a huge literature in industrial economics, strategy, corporate finance, and organization theory. “Why,” as Coase (1937, pp. 393–394) put it, “does the entrepreneur not organize one less transaction or one more?” In Williamson's (1996, p. 150) words, “Why can't a large firm do everything that a collection of small firms can do and more?” As Coase recognized in 1937, the transaction-cost advantages of internal organization are not unlimited, and firms have a finite “optimum” size and shape. Describing these limits in detail has proved challenging, however.1
This is a, somewhat indirect, rejoinder to Boettke (2019, this volume, Chapter 1). Doing Austrian economics is low prestige: Austrian economics does not get published in…
This is a, somewhat indirect, rejoinder to Boettke (2019, this volume, Chapter 1). Doing Austrian economics is low prestige: Austrian economics does not get published in high-prestige journals and Austrian economists are not employed by top universities. And yet, up until World War II Austrian economics was an important part of the international economics community. The author argues that Austrian economists made several theoretical innovations that could have placed them at the frontier of research in economics, and present a brief counterfactual history of a thriving Austrian economics based on those innovations. However, the actual history of the Austrian School is quite different. A particularly decisive factor that has made Austrian economics a fringe movement was the rejection of formal methods in theory and empirics. The author argues that Austrian economics is basically dying out as a voice in the conversation of modern economists.
While the strategic management literature suggests that related diversification is superior to unrelated diversification, there is little evidence that acquirers benefit…
While the strategic management literature suggests that related diversification is superior to unrelated diversification, there is little evidence that acquirers benefit from pursuing related targets. We argue that the empirical literature is plagued by poor measures of relatedness. Moreover, many empirical studies do not control adequately for the characteristics of the market for corporate control. We argue that not only value creation, but also value appropriation, depend on the relatedness of acquirer and target. Using an improved measure of relatedness, we provide empirical evidence that acquirer returns are positively and significantly correlated with relatedness.
This paper explores the nature and causes of the cartel compliance crisis that befell the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) one year after its passage in 1933. We…
This paper explores the nature and causes of the cartel compliance crisis that befell the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) one year after its passage in 1933. We employ a simple game-theoretic model of the NIRA's cartel enforcement mechanism to show that the compliance crisis can largely be explained by changes in expectations, rather than a change in enforcement policy. Specifically, firms initially overestimated the probability that defection would be met with sanction by the cartel's enabling body, the National Recovery Administration – including a consumer boycott resulting from loss of the patriotic Blue Eagle emblem – and complied with the industry cartel rules. As these expectations were correctly adjusted downward, cartel compliance was lost. We support this hypothesis empirically with industry-level panel data showing how output and wage rates varied according to consumer confidence in the Blue Eagle. The analysis provides insight about cartel performance more generally.
The relevance of finance for strategy is probably never greater than during a recession. We argue that the strategy literature has been virtually silent on the issue of…
The relevance of finance for strategy is probably never greater than during a recession. We argue that the strategy literature has been virtually silent on the issue of recessions, and that this constitutes a regrettable sin of omission. Recessions are also periods when the commonly held view of financial markets in the strategy literature – efficient, and therefore strategically irrelevant – is particularly misplaced. A key route to rectify this omission is to focus on how recessions affect investment behavior, and thereby firms’ stocks of assets and capabilities which ultimately will affect competitive outcomes. In the present chapter, we aim to contribute by analyzing how two key aspects of recessions, demand reductions and reductions in credit availability, affect three different types of investments: physical capital, R&D and innovation, and human- and organizational capital. We synthesize and conceptualize insights from finance- and macroeconomics about how recessions affect different types of investments and find that recessions not only affect the level of investment, but also the composition of investments. Some of these effects are quite counterintuitive. For example, investments in R&D are both more and less sensitive to credit constraints than physical capital is, depending on available internal finance. Investments in human capital grow as demand falls, and both R&D and human capital investments show important nonlinearities with respect to changes in demand.
Austrian economics today is a living research program, pursued by scholars around the globe, associated with an intellectual lineage that began in Vienna with Carl…
Austrian economics today is a living research program, pursued by scholars around the globe, associated with an intellectual lineage that began in Vienna with Carl Menger's 1871 Grundsätze der Volkswirtschaftslehre (Principles of Economics).1 Menger's ideas were soon advanced by his followers Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk and Friedrich von Wieser. In the mid-20th century Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek did the most to extend economic research along Mengerian lines. Some of the Mengerian innovations (marginalism, opportunity cost) have been incorporated into mainstream neoclassical economics, and Mises and Hayek viewed their own research program merely as modern economics.2 But as Israel Kirzner (1994, p. xii) has noted, those involved in “the contemporary post-Misesian revival of Austrian Economics” now appreciate “the distinctiveness of the Austrian tradition” stemming from Menger.3