Firms, Organizations and Contracts: A Reader in Industrial Organization

By Peter J. Buckley; Jonathan Michie | Go to book overview

12
Non-Contractual Relations In Business: A Preliminary Study

Stewart Macaulay

What good is contract law? who uses it? when and how? Complete answers would require an investigation of almost every type of transaction between individuals and organizations. In this report, research has been confined to exchanges between businesses, and primarily to manufacturers. 1 Furthermore, this report will be limited to a presentation of the findings concerning when contract is and is not used and to a tentative explanation of these findings. 2

This research is only the first phase in a scientific study. 3 The primary research technique involved interviewing 68 businessmen and lawyers representing 43 companies and six law firms. The interviews ranged from a 30- minute brush-off where not all questions could be asked of a busy and uninterested sales manager to a six-hour discussion with the general counsel of a large corporation. Detailed notes of the interviews were taken and a complete report of each interview was dictated, usually no later than the evening after the interview. All but two of the companies had plants in Wisconsin; 17 were manufacturers of machinery but none made such items as food products, scientific instruments, textiles or petroleum products. Thus the likelihood of error because of sampling bias may be considerable. 4 However, to a great extent, existing knowledge has been inadequate to permit more rigorous procedures--as yet one cannot formulate many precise questions to be asked a systematically selected sample of 'right

____________________
Revision of a paper read at the annual meeting of the Americal Sociological Association, August, 1962. An earlier version of the paper was read at the annual meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society, April, 1962. The research has been supported by a Law and Policy Research Grant to the University of Wisconsin Law School from the Ford Foundation. I am grateful for the help generously given by a number of sociologists including Robert K. Merton, Harry V. Ball, Jerome Carlin and William Evan.

-339-

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Firms, Organizations and Contracts: A Reader in Industrial Organization
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface and Acknowledgements v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Contents viii
  • List of Contributors xi
  • Foreword xiii
  • Introduction and Overview 1
  • Notes 18
  • References 20
  • I. THEORY OF THE FIRM 21
  • 1: The Equilibrium of the Firm 23
  • 2: The Nature of the Firm 40
  • 3: The Organization of Industry 59
  • 4: Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization 75
  • Summary 95
  • Notes 96
  • References 102
  • 5: Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs, and Ownership Structure 103
  • Conclusions 151
  • Notes 151
  • References 163
  • 6: Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractual Relations 168
  • Conclusion 192
  • 7: An Economist's Perspective on the Theory of the Firm 199
  • Conclusion 212
  • Notes 212
  • II. MARKETS AND INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION 219
  • 8: Corporate Culture and Economic Theory 221
  • Introduction 221
  • Conclusion 261
  • Appendix 262
  • Appendix 271
  • Appendix 273
  • References 274
  • 9: Co-operative Agreements and the Organization of Industry 276
  • References 292
  • 10: Interpenetration of Organization and Market: Japan's Firm and Market in Comparison with the US 293
  • Conclusion 317
  • References 319
  • 11: Vertical Quasi-Integration 320
  • Conclusions 336
  • Notes 337
  • 12: Non-Contractual Relations In Business: A Preliminary Study 339
  • 13: Goodwill and the Spirit of Market Capitalism 359
  • III. JOINT VENTURES, NETWORKS, AND] CLANS 383
  • III. JOINT VENTURES, NETWORKS, AND] CLANS 385
  • References 407
  • 15: Joint Ventures 410
  • Conclusion 427
  • References 428
  • 16: Organizations: New Concepts for New Forms 429
  • Conclusion 440
  • Notes 441
  • 17: Markets, Bureaucracies, and Clans 442
  • References 456
  • Notes 459
  • References 473
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