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The Form of the FirmA Normative Political Theory of the Corporation$
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Abraham A. Singer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190698348

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190698348.001.0001

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Corporate Justice within Efficiency Horizons

Corporate Justice within Efficiency Horizons

Chapter:
(p.136) 8 Corporate Justice within Efficiency Horizons
Source:
The Form of the Firm
Author(s):

Abraham A. Singer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190698348.003.0009

This chapter expands on the idea of norm-governed productivity. Because this approach opens the door for a more straightforwardly political assessment of corporate hierarchy, this chapter considers how theories of workplace democracy stack up against this view of corporate efficiency. It argues that radical and participatory democrats are prone to error by essentially doing the mirror image of what the Chicago school does: where Chicago school scholars conflate firms for markets and obscure their cooperative nature, radical democrats often mistake firms for purposive communities and obscure their economic nature. While democratic theorists are right that undefended authority exists within firms and is a problem, they are often in danger of utterly discounting efficiency. It concludes with a more exact enunciation of norm-governed productivity, which emphasizes the manner in which efficiency concerns necessitate a bounded application of noneconomic values.

Keywords:   workplace democracy, parallel case strategy, John Stuart Mill, Robert Dahl, decision-making cost, Henry Hansmann, viability horizon, transaction cost, ownership cost, viability horizon

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