Chapter

Information, Knowledge, Vision and Theories of the Firm *

Martin Fransman

in Technology, Organization, and Competitiveness

Published in print March 1998 | ISBN: 9780198290964
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596162 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198290969.003.0005
 Information, Knowledge, Vision and Theories of the Firm *

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This paper has the following purposes. The first is to demonstrate that many of the best‐known approaches to the firm in economics have in common a starting‐point that sees the firm as a response to information‐related problems. The second purpose is to review critically some of these approaches on the basis of the internal structure of their arguments, and the third is to analyse some of the limitations of the ‘information‐related paradigm’ in the light of the distinction that, it is argued, must be drawn between ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’. The last purpose is to propose some additional approaches to the firm that merit further exploration. The seven sections of the essay are: Purposes; Introduction; The Firm as Response to Information‐Related Problems; The Firm as a Repository of Knowledge; The IBM Paradox—an examination of the downfall of IBM; Implications for the Theory of the Firm; and Conclusion.

Keywords: distinction between information and knowledge; firm as repository of knowledge; Firm as Response to Information‐Related Problems; firm theory; firms; IBM Paradox; information; knowledge

Chapter.  19444 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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