topics in organizational economics

This summer I’m teaching a Ph.D. seminar on ‘topics in organizational economics’ at the Helsinki University of Technology (soon to be merged into the forthcoming Finnish mega-university: Aalto University).  So, the angle for this doctoral seminar is admittedly eclectic, largely driven by what I think is important and interesting.   Self-serving, I know.  This is what we’ll be reading and covering:


Organizations and Markets: Some Basics

Coase, R.H. 1937. “The nature of the firm.”  Economica, 4: 386-405.

Simon, H. 1955. “A behavioral model of rational choice.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 69: 99-118.

Simon, H. 1991. “Organizations and markets.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5: 25-44.

Williamson, O.E. 1981. “The economics of organization: The transaction cost approach.” American Journal of Sociology, 87: 548-577.

Aggregation, Information and Collective Action

Arrow, K. 1974.  The limits of organization. New York: W. W. Norton and Company.

Hayek, F. 1945.  “The use of knowledge in society.” American Economic Review, 35: 519-530.

Malmgren, H.B. 1961. “Information, expectations and the theory of the firm.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 75: 399-421.

Nickerson, J. A. and T. R. Zenger. 2004. “A knowledge-based theory of the firm: The problem-solving perspective.” Organization Science, 15: 617-622.

Organizational Economics and Organizational Capabilities

Argyres, N. and Zenger, T. 2007.  “Are capabilities-based theories of firm boundaries really distinct from transaction cost economics.” Olin Business School, Washington University, St. Louis Working Paper.

Foss, N. and Foss, K. 2005.  “Value and transaction costs: How the economics of property rights furthers the RBV.”  Strategic Management Journal, 26: 541-553.

Jacobides, M.G. and Winter, S.G. 2004. “The co-evolution of capabilities and transaction costs: Explaining the institutional structure of production.”  Strategic Management Journal, 26: 395-413.

Madhok, A. 2002.  “Re-assessing the fundamentals and beyond: Ronald Coase, the transaction cost and resource-based theories of the firm and the institutional structure of production.”  Strategic Management Journal, 23: 535-550.

Social Relations, Politics and the Firm

Granovetter, M. 1985. “Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness.” American Journal of Sociology, 91: 481-510.

March, J. 1962. “The business firm as a political coalition.” Journal of Politics, 24: 662-678.

Simon, H. 1964. “On the concept of organizational goal.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 9: 1-22.

Economics and Society: A Debate Dialogue

(had to add this set of readings to the mix…)

Felin, T. and N.J. Foss. 2009. “Social reality, the boundaries of self-fulfilling prophecy, and economics.” Organization Science.

Felin, T. and N.J. Foss. 2009.  “The performativity of theory, arbitrary conventions, and possible worlds: A reality check.”  Organization Science.

Ferraro, F., Pfeffer, J., and Sutton, R. 2005. “Economics language and assumptions: How theories can become self-fulfilling.” Academy of Management Review, 30: 8-24.

Ferraro, F., Pfeffer, J., and Sutton, R. 2009. “How and why theories matter: A comment on Felin and Foss.” Organization Science.


Written by teppo

May 8, 2009 at 5:58 pm

10 Responses

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  1. Should have mentioned — I’m still tweaking this at the margin, and I will likely be adding additional behavioral and economic sociology as well. I’ll post the final version later.



    May 8, 2009 at 6:09 pm

  2. No Michel Crozier?



    May 8, 2009 at 10:03 pm

  3. Sorry, probably not.



    May 9, 2009 at 4:11 am

  4. Looks like a really good course. In English, I assume?



    May 9, 2009 at 8:52 pm

  5. Yes, the course will indeed be in English.

    (Last time I taught at HUT we had a Russian PhD student in the class. And, as you probably know well, it seems that in many European business schools English is increasingly the norm since a bulk of the readings are in English and since PhD students are writing their dissertations (and subsequent articles) in English, they’re presenting at international conferences, etc.)



    May 9, 2009 at 9:15 pm

  6. Yep, that’s definitely the drill at Erasmus and other schools here. The Finnish tend to be well on top of English.



    May 9, 2009 at 9:18 pm

  7. Joseph: If you’re at Erasmus around the mid-June time frame, you ought to come to Koen Heimeriks’ conference (I am excited about the conference, should be an excellent one):



    May 9, 2009 at 9:24 pm

  8. […] billet du carnet donne une liste de textes, dont plusieurs classiques de théorie des […]


  9. tf – I will go, and I assume from your excitement that you will be there, perhaps presenting? If so, let’s meet up for some Dutch refreshments.



    May 11, 2009 at 8:19 am

  10. […] plutôt Teppo Felin, que je suis de manière sporadique sur le blogue et qui publiait un billet en mai dernier, en préparation d’un séminaire de doctorat sur l’économie des organisations, où il […]


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