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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The economic theory of the firm has strongly influenced our current understanding of the raison d’être, functioning, and internal organization of organizations. Yet, organizations today operate under quite different conditions than the ones that prevailed when some of the foundations for the contemporary theory of the firm were laid (i.e., the 1930s to the 1970s). The unfolding knowledge economy and the growing pressure for corporate social responsibility promise to profoundly affect the nature of corporations. We discuss what the economic theory of the firm has to offer for understanding the challenges faced by corporations today, and where the knowledge economy and corporate social responsibility push the limits of the economics of organization.

Keywords: theory of the firm, internal organization, knowledge economy, corporate social responsibility, limits of economics

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