Wiliamson Linking with Guile

13 October 2009 at 4:59 am 4 comments

| Lasse Lien |

Now that Williamson got what he deserved, the race is on to associate oneself as  closely as possible with the great man (Williamson linking with guile). Some try to link him to their research field, saying that he is really in sociology, strategy, organization theory, IO, or whatever is their own field. Some go for the personal link: “I know him like the inside of my pocket,” or “he is like a father/son to me.”  My version will be  the institutional link (which seems appropriate for Williamson). My own institution gave Williamson his first honorary doctorate, at the initiative of my own department. Apparently we recognized greatness quite early. Unfortunately this was back in 1986, well before my time.

Entry filed under: - Lien -, New Institutional Economics, Theory of the Firm.

Williamsoniana Williamson Miscellany

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Peter Klein  |  13 October 2009 at 12:38 pm

    You could add that Torger Reve, then at NHH, was one of the first Scandinavians to recognize the importance of TCE and to infuse it into the local business-school curriculum. Reve also helped organize the excellent Nordic Workshop on Transaction Cost Economics in 2003, leading to this special issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Management (vol. 21, no. 1, hope the link works):


  • 2. Lasse  |  14 October 2009 at 12:51 am

    That is true. Thanks Peter. If memory serves me right, Williamson and Reve first met in Copenhagen, at CBS. Apparently the CBS people were not all that receptive to his ideas at first, but Reve was. This was, of course, well before Nicolai’s time.

  • 3. David Hoopes  |  16 October 2009 at 1:16 pm

    I really like this post. I would like to have heard more links based on guile. How about I’m friends with some of his students? I took classes from Demsetz and Klein? Ollie came and spoke to some small group at UCLA where they needled him about every little thing. Nothing phased him. Ollie and i are old pals. He used to call and ask for my help all the time. I’m really proud of him. Well, actually we’ve never met nor have we ever spoken. But, I feel like I know him.

  • 4. Cliff Grammich  |  23 October 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Williamson apparently once worked for my employer (cf. http://www.rand.org/about/history/nobel/). Alas, his time there, from 1964 to 1966, was nearly before my time in this world, much less at work. And I confess I didn’t even know about this connection until today. But, um, I’ve collaborated on projects there that cite his work!

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