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Corporations in Evolving DiversityCognition, Governance, and Institutional Rules$
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Masahiko Aoki

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199218530

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218530.001.0001

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Introduction: What Do Corporations Do?

Introduction: What Do Corporations Do?

(p.1) 1 Introduction: What Do Corporations Do?
Corporations in Evolving Diversity

Masahiko Aoki

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter first revisits the generic nature of corporations as perpetual entities that first emerged in non-business domains such as religion, education, and city learning before the birth of modern nation states. It prompts an inquiry into aspects of business corporations such as associative cognitive systems, self-governing perpetual entities and so on, which tended to be neglected in the orthodox approach to modern corporations. It examines those aspects in the context of contemporary business corporations by using game-theoretic language and tools. That is, varied forms of corporate organizational architecture and governance are to be understood as stable multiple equilibria of the organization field, while a particular choice from the many possible forms may be conditional on equilibrium linkages to the outcomes of political and social games that corporations play.

Keywords:   corporations, associative cognition, self-governance, political games, social games

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