Blogfest at Sundance

28 September 2007 at 1:11 am Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

The BYU Conference on Comparative Organizations at Sundance begins today. Your humble correspondent is here, along with Teppo, Brayden, Fabio, and Omar of orgtheory.net, Gordon Smith of Conglomerate, and luminaries from throughout the world of organization studies. I haven’t yet seen Robert Redford (but if he shows up I’ll ask him to clarify his views on property rights).

This is an interdisciplinary conference, though the participants are primarily sociologists (with a few outsiders, like yours truly, thrown in for comic relief). The purpose is to develop better frameworks for making comparisons across organizational types. From the conference blurb: “[C]ontemporary organizational scholarship can not provide a coherent answer to questions regarding how one might translate corporate data on the predictors of employee motivation into a hospital or military setting, or to what extent conclusions regarding the relationship between financial performance and socially responsible business practices based on studies of small, young, private firms hold for large, old, public firms.”

I think there is actually a fair amount of empirical literature in organizational economics and strategy making these kinds of cross-sectional comparisons (public versus private firms, venture-backed versus non-venture-backed startups, M-form versus H-form conglomerates, etc.). The analysis is not particularly “deep,” however; it relies generally on reduced-form models with performance as the only dependent variable. I’m looking forward to learning about more nuanced approaches.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Conferences, Management Theory, Theory of the Firm.

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