New Issue of Industry and Innovation

24 June 2006 at 3:45 am Leave a comment

| Nicolai Foss |

Now in its 13 year of publication, Industry and Innovation is a journal dedicated to "scholarship on the dynamics of industries and innovation". (It was originally launched as the Journal of Industry Studies).

Its closest competitors are arguably journals such as Industrial and Corporate Change and Research Policy. In terms of intellectual affiliation, I&I serves the communities that are organized in the Schumpeter Society, attend the DRUID conferences, and the like. In other words, I&I is taken up with research in evolutionary economics, dynamic capabilities stuff, parts of economic geography, technology studies and so on. Its editorial board includes Anita McGahan, Richard Nelson, and yours truly. The editor is my CBS colleague, Mark Lorenzen (check his photo!).

Usually, there may not be much of interest for the readers of O&M in I&I. However, the latest issue — guest edited by my former PhD student, Volker Mahnke (CBS, Informatics Dept.) and Serden Ozcan (CBS, Dept of Industrial Economics and Strategy)– features a set of papers that are clearly relevant to those with an interest in organization and organizational strategy.

The theme of the special issue is relational governance, specifically clarifying the "meaning of the concept, under which conditions it is effective, as well as when and how firms can use it in the pursuit to generate and exploit innovations in the cooperation with external partners," as the editors write (p.121). Thus, the special issue is much taken up with what is often called "open innovation" issues.

My two favorite papers are Keith Blois' (University of Oxford) "The Boundaries of the Firm — a Question of Interpretation?" and "A Relational Approach to Organization Design" by the always thoughtful Anna Grandori and Guiseppe Soda (both Bocconi University). On the basis of a historical study of Marks and Spencers' supply relations, Blois argues that firms that are partners to an exchange relation may develop differing interpretations of where their boundaries — understood in the Coasian sense as the extent of authority — may lie. What is quasi-vertical integration to one firm may be something much weaker to the other firm. Making relational governance effective requires understanding such differences in the framing of a relation. Grandori and Soda follow up on critique, long associated with Grandori, of the assumption of "discreteness of structural alternatives" in most of organization theory, including transaction cost economics. Thus, there are many more degrees of freedom in organizational design than is usually assumed.

Entry filed under: - Foss -, Papers, Recommended Reading, Theory of the Firm.

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Our Recent Books

Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Peter G. Klein and Micheal E. Sykuta, eds., The Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics (Edward Elgar, 2010).
Peter G. Klein, The Capitalist and the Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets (Mises Institute, 2010).
Richard N. Langlois, The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy (Routledge, 2007).
Nicolai J. Foss, Strategy, Economic Organization, and the Knowledge Economy: The Coordination of Firms and Resources (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Raghu Garud, Arun Kumaraswamy, and Richard N. Langlois, eds., Managing in the Modular Age: Architectures, Networks and Organizations (Blackwell, 2003).
Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, eds., Entrepreneurship and the Firm: Austrian Perspectives on Economic Organization (Elgar, 2002).
Nicolai J. Foss and Volker Mahnke, eds., Competence, Governance, and Entrepreneurship: Advances in Economic Strategy Research (Oxford, 2000).
Nicolai J. Foss and Paul L. Robertson, eds., Resources, Technology, and Strategy: Explorations in the Resource-based Perspective (Routledge, 2000).

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