This book shows how economics can be used to clarify and stimulate thinking about organisations and their decision problems. It is mainly designed for university students of economics, management and business studies and of public and social administration. But its clear and lively exposition will have a wider appeal.
The author introduces economic controversies on organisational power, exchange and self-interest, generosity and public spirit. He outlines many practical uses of such concepts as marginalism, opportunity cost, time preference and risk, scale economies and diseconomies, market power, public goods and externalities. He applies economics to business planning and budgeting problems and also to the problems of social enterprises in obtaining resources through charges and grants and in allocating these resources ‘efficiently’ and ‘fairly’.
A distinctive feature of the book is that it analyses problems in the wide context of business, public and voluntary organisations. Unlike many conventional texts it is not highly abstract, technical or descriptive. Drawing on his extensive experience, the author provides many real-life and typical case studies to highlight his central theme: the fruitful interaction between abiding economic ideas and contemporary organisational problems.
‘A first class treatise…a milestone in economic thinking’ Ervin Laslo, The General Evolution Group
‘Boisot is a fine writer, an elegant thinker….This knowledge of culture is indispensable to the design of strategies for institutional change’ Laurence E Lynn Jr, University of Chicago
‘This is one of those rare path-breaking books which academics or practitioners should not ignore.’ John Child, University of Cambridge.
List of Figures, tables. Foreword. Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. Orienting Thoughts on Information. 2. The Structuring of Information. 3. The Sharing of Information. 4. Dynamic Behaviour: The Social Learning Cycle. 5. Institutions. 6. Culture as Economizing. 7. Case Study – Socialist Transformations. 8. Conclusions.