The Evolution of the Rules of the Societal Games

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

The Evolution of the Rules of the Societal Games

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Based on the recent development of epistemic game theory, this chapter attempts to resolve longstanding contested issues across social science disciplines about the nature and origin of institutions. These issues include: institutions as a pre-play design vs. spontaneous order, deontic constraints vs. rational choice, regularity of actions vs. shared meanings, endogenous and exogenous views, and so on. It argues that for a societal order to evolve through the recursive play of societal games, some social cognitive categories such as formal laws, norms, rules, and ritual, and organizations need to mediate between physical actions and the behavioral beliefs of individual players. Thus, pure methodological individualism must be laid to rest in institutional analysis. From such perspectives this chapter describes how institutions evolve and what the roles of business corporations can be in that process.

Keywords: institutions; institutional evolution; societal cognitive category; methodological individualism; deontic constraints; mechanism design

Chapter.  15305 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Business Strategy

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