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Veblen, Commons, and the Modern Corporation : Why Management Does Not Fit Economics

Homo Œconomicus, Volume 30, Issue 1, 2013, pp.101-120

Thèmes liés : Management - Economie


At the end of the 19th century, the everyday activities of developing corporations modified the usual field of economic investigations. Nevertheless, economists were slow off the mark and seemed reluctant to give a proper place to this new player in their theoretical schemes. Thorstein Veblen and John R. Commons offered the first comprehensive history of the modern business firm. Little interested in the anatomy of the corporate leviathan, they rather sounded out its soul and analyzed its double-sided spirit, both pecuniary and industrial.

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Introduction : theorizing or not the business firm, p.2
Understanding the business firm from a market perspective, p.3
Veblen’s and Commons’s breakthrough, p.8
Veblen’s and Commons’s missed opportunity, p.13
Conclusion : twentieth century economics remains market-oriented, p.15
Bibliography, p.17