Constitutional Political Economy

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 2–18

A framework for the study of firms as constitutional orders

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10602-012-9129-0

Cite this article as:
Evans, A.J. & Wenzel, N.G. Const Polit Econ (2013) 24: 2. doi:10.1007/s10602-012-9129-0


Much of the literature on corporate performance focuses on institutional restructuring, and implicitly assumes that constitutional factors are determined exogenously. Existing theories of the firm—whether a “goal paradigm” or an “exchange paradigm”—provide useful insights; but we find them incomplete because they miss the extent to which companies build unique and meaningful constitutional orders. Building on Vanberg (Const Polit Econ 3(2):223–253, 1992), we investigate the extent to which the field of constitutional political economy (CPE) can improve our understanding of organisations, by providing a typology of CPE that can be applied to a study of firms. We make a distinction among (1) operational; (2) institutional; and (3) constitutional levels of management, and based on the CPE literature argue that “constitutional” considerations help us to define the boundaries of a firm and its operational environment.


Constitutional management Theory of the firm Institutions 

JEL Classification

B53 D23 L22 P51 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ESCP-EAP European School of ManagementLondonUK
  2. 2.Florida Gulf Coast UniversityFort MyersUSA

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