Introduction: What Do Corporations Do?

Masahiko Aoki

in Corporations in Evolving Diversity

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199218530
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191711510 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies

Introduction: What Do Corporations Do?

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This introductory chapter first revisits the generic nature of corporations as perpetual entities that first emerged in non-business domains such as religion, education, and city learning before the birth of modern nation states. It prompts an inquiry into aspects of business corporations such as associative cognitive systems, self-governing perpetual entities and so on, which tended to be neglected in the orthodox approach to modern corporations. It examines those aspects in the context of contemporary business corporations by using game-theoretic language and tools. That is, varied forms of corporate organizational architecture and governance are to be understood as stable multiple equilibria of the organization field, while a particular choice from the many possible forms may be conditional on equilibrium linkages to the outcomes of political and social games that corporations play.

Keywords: corporations; associative cognition; self-governance; political games; social games

Chapter.  7967 words. 

Subjects: Business Strategy

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