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Technology, Organization, and CompetitivenessPerspectives on Industrial and Corporate Change$
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Giovanni Dosi, David J. Teece, and Josef Chytry

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198290964

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198290969.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 January 2021

Transaction Cost Economics and Organization Theory

Transaction Cost Economics and Organization Theory

(p.17) 1 Transaction Cost Economics and Organization Theory
Technology, Organization, and Competitiveness

Oliver E. Williamson

Oxford University Press

This paper focuses on connections between transaction cost economics and organization theory, and argues that a three‐part relation is taking shape. The first and most important of these is that transaction cost economics has been (and will continue to be) massively influenced by concepts and empirical regularities that have their origins in organization theory. Second, there are key concepts out of which transaction cost economics works to which organization theorists can (and many do) productively relate. Third, healthy tension survives – as revealed by an examination of phenomena for which rival interpretations have been advanced, remain unsolved, and provoke controversy. The essay is arranged as follows: some background is presented on institutional economics; a three‐level schema is proposed for studying economic organization; some of the more important ways in which transaction cost economics has benefitted from organization theory are examined; the key concepts in transaction cost economics are sketched; empirical regularities, as discerned through the lens of transaction cost economics, that are pertinent to organization theory are discussed; contested terrain (unresolved tensions) is surveyed; and concluding remarks are made.

Keywords:   contested terrain, economic organization, empirical regularities, key concepts, organization theory, transaction cost economics, unresolved tensions

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