1st Edition

Alternative Theories of the Firm

    388 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    388 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Theory of the Firm is commonly viewed as axiomatic by business school academicians. Considerations in spanning organizational structures, their boundaries and roles, as well as business strategies all relate to the Theory of the Firm. The dominant Theory of the Firm poses that markets act perfectly to maximize the well- being of society when people act to maximize the personal utility of their individual purchases and firms act to maximize financial returns to their owners.

    However, burgeoning evidence and discourse across the scientific and policy communities suggests that the economic, social, and environmental consequences of accepting and applying this theory in the organization of business and society threaten the survival of the human species, among countless others. This book provides the latest thinking on alternatives to the Theory of the Firm as cornerstone of managerial decision-making. Authors explore and elucidate theories that help us understand a firm differently and suggest alternatives to the Theory of the Firm.

    This book will be of value to researchers, academics, practitioners, and students interested in leadership, strategic management, and the intersection of corporate interests and the well-being of the society.

    Introduction: Alternatives Theories of the Firm

    Michael Pirson, Erica Steckler, and David Wasieleski

    Chapter 1. From the Theory of the Firm to a Theory of the Community

    David Korten

    Chapter 2. A Note on Alternative "Theories of the Firm"

    J.-C. Spender

    Chapter 3. A Rightholding Perspective on the Firm and Principled Governance: 10 Memos

    Anna Grandori

    Chapter 4. Theories of the Firm: The Logic of Multiple Criteria for Assessing Outcomes

    Duane Windsor

    Chapter 5. Qualitative Growth: An Alternative to Solely Quantitatively-Oriented Theories of Firm Growth

    Dietmar Sternad and Gernot Mödritscher

    Chapter 6. What Are Corporations for?: Contemporary Capitalism, Authority, and a Communicative Theory of the Firm

    Timothy Kuhn

    Chapter 7. Toward a "We"-Mode Team Production Theory of the Firm: A Confucian Approach

    Alan Strudler, Matthew Caulfield and Tae Wan Kim

    Chapter 8. Strengthening Theory through Isolation and Subsequent Confrontation: The Case of French Convention Theory

    Abdul A. Rasheed, Richard L. Priem and Anne-Catherine Provost

    Chapter 9. What It Means to be Truly Human in Organizations: Martin Buber’s Concept of I-Thou Relations

    Ulrich Leicht-Deobald, Lyndon E. Garrett and Lloyd E. Sandelands

    Chapter 10. Business for Peace: A New Paradigm for the Theory of the Firm

    Tilman Bauer

    Chapter 11. Lessons from Indigenous Social Enterprises: An Alternative Management Model?

    Mario Vázquez Maguirre

    Chapter 12. Toward a Humanistic Theory of the Firm: An Analysis of the Mondragon-Based Participative Model

    Ricardo Aguado, José Luis Retolaza and Josune Baniandrés

    Chapter 13. How Human and Organizational Relationships can be Explained by Natural Science

    Shann Turnbull

    Chapter 14. Capitalism as a Continuum: A Bioinspired Narrative Framework to Assess Four Functions of the Firm

    Elizabeth Castillo


    Michael Pirson is William Loschert Professor of Management, Global Sustainability, and Social Entrepreneurship at Fordham University and Research Fellow at Harvard University, United States.

    David M. Wasieleski is Albert P. Viragh Professor of Business Ethics in the Palumbo- Donahue School of Business and Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics in Business at Duquesne University, United States.

    Erica L. Steckler is Associate Professor of Management and Co- Director of the Donahue Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility in the Manning School of Business at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, United States.