Having considered the literature on why individuals are to be found in many cases working together in firms rather than operating individually (Section I), and on why the 'market' cannot be seen as existing in isolation from firms and their actual operation (Section II), the readings in Section III explore in more depth an issue referred to in the introductory comments to Section I, namely that production takes place largely within firms and other organizations. It is this latter distinction--between firms on the one hand and other organizations on the other--which is explored in more detail in the various articles reproduced in this Section.
The fact that firms form joint ventures--doing more than simply contracting with each other through market processes, yet not necessarily actually merging or even holding shares in each other--is discussed in the first article, by Pfeffer and Nowack. The most striking development of this phenomena in recent times has been its increased spread across national borders, with a range of cooperative patterns emerging internationally, and it is the theory of this cooperation in international business which is analysed in the reading reproduced from Buckley and Casson. The article by Miles and Snow discusses a range of organizational forms, and in particular various forms of networking across firms, and examines the implications of this for management practice, organizational redesign, and government policy in trade and industry issues.
The starting point for the literature highlighted in this volume, on the economics of contracts and industrial organization, was said in the introduction to Section I to be the recognition that an analysis of economies had to go