Archive for July, 2007

Garrett on Ford

| Peter Klein |

Garet Garrett’s 1953 book on Ford Motor Co., The Wild Wheel, is now available as a free e-book at Garrett, the iconoclastic American journalist who wrote for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Saturday Evening Post and is best known as a critic of Franklin Roosevelt, was trained as a financial reporter and covered Ford for many years. Worth a read.

30 July 2007 at 7:22 pm 1 comment

Another Great Higher Education Quote

| Peter Klein |

From Jacques Pépin’s delightful memoir The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen (Houghton Mifflin, 2003):

By the time I had completed all but one of the required courses for my Ph.D. [in literature at Columbia, around 1972], I was thinking about quitting the kitchen and becoming a university professor. . . . [I] proposed a doctoral thesis dealing with the history of French food presented in the context of French literature. There were plenty of literary references for me to explore, from Ronsard’s “Apology to a Field Salad,” to the wedding feast in Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, to Proust’s well-known madeleine.

But when I proposed the idea, my adviser, a Frenchman, shook his head. “The reason not much has been written on the topic, Mr. Pépin,” he intoned, “is that cuisine is not a serious art form. It’s far too trivial for academic study. Not intellectual enough to form the basis of a Ph.D. thesis.” My proposal was turned down.

Perhaps I could have argued my point, but my adviser’s curt dismissal of a field so important to me, to which I had dedicated my life, helped crystallize some doubts I was having about a career in academia. Though I enjoyed research, the last time I had participated in anything resembling a stimulating intellectual discussion with fellow students was back at [Columbia’s] School of General Studies, when we met after class for drinks and conversation — people of many nationalities and all ages, a mini-United Nation. Now my associates were suddenly twenty-one- or twenty-two-year-olds whose only interest seemed to be grades. Far from being noble and high-minded, many of my professors were petty, focused on trivial departmental squabbles. When two or more of them gathere socially, the conversation was limited to university politics and junior-high-school-level gossip about other professors.

As much as anything, getting an education cured me of my complex about not having an education.

30 July 2007 at 1:48 am Leave a comment

The “Age of Cobden”

| Peter Klein |

Leonard Liggio reviews a new collection of essays on Richard Cobden, the great English liberal and free trader who led the movement to eliminate the protectionist Corn Laws. Notes Liggio:

The contemporary world is focused on the issues Cobden raised. According to co-editor, Anthony Howe’s “Introduction”: “For the modern preoccupations with globalization, free markets, the retreat of the state, the importance of civil society are all ideas which took political shape in the ‘age of Cobden.’ While post-modernists may find in Cobden’s liberalism too many of the emblems of the ‘modernity’ project from which they are keen to distance themselves, historians and the public may still have much to learn from one of the first practical attempts to implant the ‘Enlightenment project’ within the fabric of the world order.” Cobden’s affinity with European Liberals reflected their shared heritage of the Enlightenment in the works of Vattel, Grotius, Voltaire, Rousseau, Franklin, Jefferson, Bentham and James Mill.

For more on Cobden and his contemporaries John Bright and Charles Dunoyer see these papers by Liggio and Ralph Raico and listen to Raico’s 2005 lecture “Classical Liberalism in War and Peace: The Case of Richard Cobden” (scroll down).

27 July 2007 at 8:03 am Leave a comment

Economic Inquiry Tries “As-Is” Reviews

| Peter Klein |

Economic Inquiry, generally regarded as the best of the second-tier general-interest economics journals, is adding an “as-is” submission option, like the one we discussed here.

26 July 2007 at 9:14 am Leave a comment

Brilliant But Neglected II

| Peter Klein |

Some suggestions for Nicolai’s list:

John G .Matsusaka, “Corporate Diversification, Value Maximization, and Organizational Capabilities,” Journal of Business 74 (July 2001): 409-31. Offers a novel and provocative “match-seeking” theory of diversification in which firms do not know their own capabilities but must discover them by experimenting with various combinations of business units. A diversified firm may be valued at a discount relative to more specialized firms because its current lines of business include some not consistent with its capabilities, but such conglomeration is necessary, and value-creating in the long run, if the firm is to discover where it should eventually refocus. 85 hits on Google Scholar. Possibly neglected because it appeared in the Journal of Business near the end of its run.

Robert C. Ellickson, “A Hypothesis of Wealth-Maximizing Norms: Evidence from the Whaling Industry,” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 5, no. 1 (Spring 1989): 83-97. A nice example of the emergence of private law, focusing on the rules governing property rights in whales prior to the twentieth century. Without a central authority the whaling community — a small, close-knit group with shared characteristics and frequent interaction — developed a complex set of norms enforced by community sanction and the threat of ostracism. Just 25 Google Scholar hits. (more…)

25 July 2007 at 11:01 pm Leave a comment

Management R&D Blog

| Peter Klein |

Luke Froeb and Brian McCann, whose book we discussed earlier, have a new blog, Management R&D. It looks good, so check it out.

24 July 2007 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

Strategic Entrepreneurship Review

| Peter Klein |

In case you missed it, Steve Phelan mentioned in one of the comment threads that he has started a new e-journal, the Strategic Management Review. Writes Steve:

Philosophically, the journal is focused on publishing articles that “contribute to the ongoing conversation in strategic management” and intends to be theoretically, methodologically, and geographically neutral. We also aim to have quick reviewer turnaround times and ongoing (instant) publication of accepted articles. There is no reason an article could not be reviewed and published in 30-60 days (if it is deemed to make a contribution). Initially, we anticipate a 35% acceptance rate but the traditional “space considerations” of a paper journal will not be a reason for rejecting articles or lowering the acceptance rate.

The journal is also intended to be a resource for the strategic management community. For example, there is an area for doctoral students to post their dissertation abstracts and there is a “Comments” area for all published articles. Google Scholar will also start indexing the journal and improving the chances that an article will be read. With 269 BPS accepted papers (from 653 submissions) at the upcoming AOM meeting, I think that many articles could benefit from the timely exposure that SMR offers.

To date, the journal has published one issue but has averaged about 250 article downloads per month for the last three months. This is a very positive sign that people want to read online academic content in strategic management.

Consider sending your stuff his way. The journal website contains all the necessary info.

23 July 2007 at 10:01 pm Leave a comment

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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).
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