Neuroeconomics and the Firm

29 July 2008 at 10:29 am Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

I’m not a big fan of neuroeconomics — Gul and Pesendorfer’s critique seems about right to me — but if you like that field you may be interested in this call for book chapters:

Neuroeconomics and the Firm

Mellani Day
Angela Stanton
Isabell Welpe

How can we take advantage of neuroeconomics to inform organizations? Neuroscience can provide us with ways to understand causal relationships; it enables us to identify the biological drivers of beliefs, opportunity perception, opportunity analysis, risk-aversion or risk-seeking, motivation, incentives and reward mechanisms; in other words, we can map the pre-decisional dynamics of the human brain. Neuroeconomics has yielded important new insights and may provide powerful new ways of looking at the firm.

Organizations often rely on economic models that assume human rational decision-making to establish organizational goals and the means by which to achieve them. These models suggest that humans consistently aim to maximize their utility in a self-regarding way. Recent neuroeconomic experiments have shown that the economic model suggested by the classical economic theories is incomplete. Complex organizational decision-making requires the understanding of human cognition and incentive-evaluation using modern economic tools and rigorous experimental methodologies. Neuroscience gives economics new ways to conceptualise and measure important facets of decision making.

These modern tools of neuroeconomics now help us understand motivation and judgment, not just by looking at the outcome of human decisions but by looking at the neural substrates of the processes that formulate those outcomes.

This interdisciplinary volume focuses on the contributions that neuroeconomics can offer to investigating and improving organizational theories.

We plan to publish 10 to 12 chapters in an edited volume on Neuroeconomics and the Firm. We are seeking manuscripts with sound theoretical or empirical contributions.  The literature on how neuroeconomics can facilitate the understanding of organizational processes is the core of this volume. In particular, we would like to encourage authors to explore brain scanning and hormonal evaluative techniques to analyze the neural substrates of organizational behaviour.

Thus, this edited volume encompasses many ideas that have been discussed previously in the neuroeconomics, neuroentrepreneurship, and neuroscience literature but collates them into specific theme on how neuroscience can inform organizational theory. We are looking for new theoretical insights and empirical studies that link these important areas together. Possible topics that could be addressed in this special issue are:

  • Neuroeconomics – what it is, how it has been used to date, and how it may be used for organizational theory
  • How does the field of neuroscience, economics, and organizational study interlink?
  • How can neuroscience inform organizational management?
  • How can neuroscientific tools help to identify the drivers of opportunity perception of the entrepreneur?
  • Can neuroscientific tools help us visualize the opportunity analysis of the entrepreneur?
  • Can we map the entrepreneur’s pre-decisional dynamics?
  • Can we use neuroscientific methods to forecast decision outcomes under varying business environmental conditions?
  • What are the shortcomings and potential conflicts of the use of neuroscientific tools for the understanding of organizational theory?

An introduction to your proposed chapter (2-3 pages of double spaced type) must be received by October 31, 2008. Upon evaluating the proposal, selected authors will receive invitation from the editors to submit their manuscripts. Final manuscripts should be received by January 31st, 2009. Authors should prepare manuscripts in accordance with Edward Elgars guidelines and have an English-proficient reader/writer assist them to ensure that the manuscript is of publishable quality. Please submit manuscripts in a word-compatible format (any version) electronically by email to

Questions may be addressed to any of the special issue editors (;;

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

São Paulo Workshop on Institutions and Organizations Research and Teaching: Friends or Foes?

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Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
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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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