Article

Economic versus Sociological Approaches to Organization Theory

Richard Swedberg

in The Oxford Handbook of Organization Theory

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199275250
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199275250.003.0014

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Economic versus Sociological Approaches to Organization Theory

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Organization theory has displayed a remarkable creativity during its roughly 100 years of existence. But even if organization theory is interdisciplinary, it remains a stubborn fact that most research on organizations is carried out within distinct disciplines and according to disciplinary traditions. This article presents the concept of organizational economics. The main focus of this article is on transaction cost analysis, agency analysis, and also the evolutionary, game theoretical and property rights perspectives. This is followed by a presentation of the way that firms have been studied in economic sociology, and here the article discusses the Weberian heritage in organizational sociology, the focus on firms in this type of sociology and the role that culture and meaning plays in it. Finally, this article concludes with a brief discussion of the antagonism between organizational economics and the sociology of organizations, and how this antagonism perhaps can be overcome.

Keywords: organization theory; organizational economics; transaction cost analysis; agency analysis; property rights perspectives

Article.  7993 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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