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Embedding organizational arrangements: towards a general model


Notwithstanding its major contributions, the ‘Williamsonian’ branch of New Institutional Economics suffers from black holes that recent developments have pinpointed. Rather than taking stock, this paper capitalizes on some of these developments to look ahead. Section 2 provides a reminder of the hard core of transaction cost economics (TCE) with an emphasis on problems that TCE has allowed to identify, particularly the richness of organizational arrangements, an issue that needs further investigation. Section 3 discusses how to better understand the embedment of organizational arrangements in their institutional environment. The concept of ‘meso-institutions’ is introduced as a mean to capture mechanisms providing the needed interface. Section 4 considers another neglected dimension that requires renewed attention: the interactions of organizational arrangements with technologies that partially define their setting. This paper proposes a roadmap to explore this issue, based on an ongoing research developed around the key concept of ‘criticality’. Section 5 concludes.

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Journal of Institutional Economics
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