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Between Hierarchies and MarketsThe Logic and Limits of Network Forms of Organization$
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Grahame F. Thompson

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198775270

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198775270.001.0001

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Hierarchies, Markets, and Networks: A Preliminary Comparison

Hierarchies, Markets, and Networks: A Preliminary Comparison

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 Hierarchies, Markets, and Networks: A Preliminary Comparison
Source:
Between Hierarchies and Markets
Author(s):

Grahame F. Thompson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198775270.003.0002

This chapter sets out the traditional analysis of network as a different organisational arrangement to either hierarchy or market. The contrast is between hierarchies, markets, and networks as first coordinating devices and then as governance mechanisms. In the first instance, these are set up as ‘rivalrously complementary’ ideal types of social organisation to demarcate the different claims they make on how the organisation of the social is to be understood. The chapter lays out the basic claims made for networks in particular, as to how they are different from hierarchical and market forms of organisation. In other words, the chapter tries to systematise what might be the logic of networks and the legitimate limits to their operation. For hierarchical forms of organisation, the key features for governance are rule-bounded bureaucracy, authority, administration, and superordination and subordination. For market forms, the key features are price, self-interest, competition, and formal contracts.

Keywords:   networks, markets, hierarchies, governance, social organisation, logic, bureaucracy, competition, subordination, formal contracts

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