Business firms around the world are experimenting with new organizational designs, changing their formal architectures, their routines and processes, and their corporate cultures as they seek to improve their current performance and their growth prospects. In the process they are changing the scope of their business operations, redrawing their organization charts, redefining the allocation of decision-making authority and responsibility, revamping the mechanisms for
motivating and rewarding people, reconsidering which activities to conduct in-house and which to out-source, redesigning their information systems, and seeking to alter the shared beliefs, values and norms that their people hold.
In this book, John Roberts argues that there are predictable, necessary relationships among these changes that will improve performance and growth. The organizations that are successful will establish patterns of fit among the elements of their organizational designs, their competitive strategies and the external environment in which they operate and will go about this in a holistic manner.
The Modern Firm develops powerful conceptual frameworks for analyzing the interrelations between organizational design features, competitive strategy and the business environment. Written in a non-technical language, the book is nevertheless based on rigorous modeling and draws on numerous examples from eighteenth century fur trading companies to such modern firms such as BP and Nokia. Finally the book explores why these developments are happening now, pointing to the increase in
global competition and changes in technology.
Written by one of the world's leading economists and experts on business strategy and organization, The Modern Firm provides new insights into the changes going on in business today and will be of interest to academics, students and managers alike.
John Roberts holds the John H. Scully Professorship in Economics, Strategic Management and International Business in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He has published over seventy scholarly articles in academic journals in a variety of areas in economic theory and game theory and their application to problems in industrial competition and management. He has also written numerous case studies of businesses and co-authored the seminal textbook on the economics and management of firms (Economics, Organization and Management, Prentice Hall 1992).
Preface ; 1. Strategy and Organization ; 2. Key Concepts for Organizational Design ; 3. The Nature and Purpose of the Firm ; 4. Motivation in the Modern Firm ; 5. Organizing for Performance ; 6. Organizing for Growth and Innovation ; 7. Creating the Modern Firm: Management and Leadership Challenges