The assessment for this module is made up of a coursework component (90%) and an Attendance and Participation element (10%).
In order to complete the coursework element of the assessment students must submit two coursework essays. The word limit for each essay is 1750 words. Each essay will be worth 45% of the overall assessment for the module. Together the marks for the two essays will then constitute 90% of the overall assessment for the module.
The first coursework essay should address one of the following questions.
1. Outline Coaseâ€s account of the nature of the firm and evaluate the claim that its weaknesses relate to what he inherits from conventional economics.
2. â€œThe theory that mergers and acquisitions are often the result of hold up problems due to asset specificity is unambiguously supported by the case of General Motors and Fisher Bodyâ€. Discuss.
3. â€œMarxâ€s analysis of the emergence of capitalist relations and the transformation of the labour process under capitalism shows that firms are internally related to and co-evolve with capitalist marketsâ€. Discuss.
4. â€œThe emergence of technologies, institutions and social structures can be heavily dependent on context, and once established there are likely to be tendencies in place for the selected items to become locked-inâ€. Discuss making reference to relevant case study material and outlining why path dependency is important for the study of industrial organization.
5. â€œAt the core of the corporation is a process of social positioning that takes an unusual formâ€. Discuss carefully outlining how the notion of social positioning can help us understand both the nature of the firm and the nature of the modern corporation.
Your essay must be submitted electronically via Turn-it-in by 10 am on 2nd November 2015. Essays handed in up to 24 hours late will be capped at the pass mark, any essays handed in more than 24 hours late will be awarded a mark of zero. However, if you feel you have legitimate reasons for requesting an extension or for submitting your coursework late you should follow the procedures set out in the School of Business and Management Undergraduate Handbook.
When handing in your essay you must not include your name on the essay. Please note that you must include a word count and, in accordance with School policy as set out in the Undergraduate Handbook, penalties for exceeding word limits will apply. Footnotes or endnotes are included in the word count. The bibliography is not included in the word limit of 1750 words.
For illustrative initial readings see list below. For relevant reading please also refer to the course outline and relevant detailed lecture outlines.
A second coursework assignment sheet will in due course be circulated containing the questions for the second coursework essay.
1. Coase, R. H , 1937, â€˜The Nature of the Firmâ€, Economica. An abridged version reprinted in Putterman, L. and Kroszner, R, eds, 1996, The Economic Nature of the Firm: A Reader, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Also reprinted in Buckley, P, J and Michie, J, eds, Firms, Organisations and Contracts, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
2. Dunn, M. H, 1992, â€˜Firms, markets and hierarchies: a critical appraisal of Ronald Coaseâ€s contribution to the explanation of the â€˜Nature of the Firmâ€, Ordo, Vol 43, pp 193-204. Available at: www.uni-potsdam.de/fileadmin/projects/wirtschaftspolitik/assests/Publikationen_Malcolm/Firms_Markets_and_Hierarchies.pdf.
3. Marciano, A, 2013, An Obituary: Ronald Coaseâ€, History of Economic Ideas, Vol21 , No 2, pp 11-27. Available at: SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2411505
1. Klein, B, 1998, â€˜Hold up Problemâ€ in Peter K Newman ed, The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and Law, Vol 2, MacMillan, London. As reprinted in Initial readings.
2. Williamson, O. E., 1981, â€˜The Economics of Organization: The Transaction Cost Approachâ€, American Journal of Sociology, Vol 87, Number 3. As reprinted in Initial Readings. Kingâ€s has electronic access to this journal, follow the ejournal links on the ISS page.
3. Coase, R. H, 2006, â€˜The Conduct of Economics: the example of Fisher Body and General Motorsâ€, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, Vol 15, No 2, 255-278. Kingâ€s has electronic access to this journal, follow the ejournal links on the Kingâ€s webpage.
1. Collier, A, 2004, Marx, One world publishers. Various chapters.
2. Meikle, S, 1996, â€˜Marx and the Stalinist History Textbookâ€, Critique Vol 27.
3. Ankarloo, D and Palermo, G, 2004, â€˜Anti-Williamson: A Marxian critique of New Institutional Economicsâ€, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol 28, No 3, May 2004. pp 413-429.
1. David, P. A, 1986, â€˜Understanding the Economics of QWERTY: The Necessity of Historyâ€, in Parker, W. N. ed, Economic History and the Modern Economist, Oxford Blackwell.
2. Grindley, P, 1995, Standards, Strategy and Policy: Cases and Stories, Oxford University Press, Oxford, Chapter 4 and 6.
3. Martin, R and Sunley, P, 2006, â€˜Path Dependence and regional economic evolutionâ€, Journal of Economic Geography, Vol 6, No 4, 395-437.
1. Lawson, T, 2015, â€˜The Modern Corporation: the Site of a mechanism (of Global Social Change) that is Out-of-Controlâ€ in Archer, M, ed, Social Morphogenesis: Generative Mechanisms Transforming the Social Order, Springer. New York.
2. Lawson, T, 2012, â€˜Ontology and the Study of Social Reality: emergence, organisation, community, power, social relations, corporations, artefacts and moneyâ€, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol 36, No 2.
3. Lawson, T, 2015, â€˜The Nature of the Firm and the Peculiarities of the Corporationâ€, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Volume 39, issue 1.
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