Managing Through Incentives

9 August 2007 at 11:26 am Leave a comment

| Nicolai Foss |

In my recent mention of various textbooks on organizational economics I somehow forgot to mention two excellent books on the subject. One is by former O&M guest blogger Joe Mahoney (which makes the omission the more embarrassing), Economic Foundations of Strategy (most of which turns out to be organizational economics). The other is the more managerially oriented Managing Through Incentives by Dwight Lee (my co-blogger’s former University of Georgia colleague) and Donald McKenzie. In addition to watching 300, I read through most of Managing Through Incentives on my flight back from the AoM in Philadelphia.

The book is light and engaging, but not exactly your average management book. Although clearly intended for a management audience it is probably too long and complicated to successfully serve that role. But it is excellent as an inspiration for teachers of organizational economics and organizational strategy. It abounds in nice examples and applications of, mainly, agency theory that can be very usefully applied in teaching. Or you may simply read it for fun. There is a humorous tone to much of the writing, it has appealing libertarian leanings (David Friedman and Robert Hessen are approvingly cited), and it features a nice chapter that takes issue with Alfie Kohn’s views on incentives. Highly recommended!

Entry filed under: - Foss -, New Institutional Economics, Recommended Reading, Theory of the Firm.

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