Constitutional Political Economy

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 2–18 | Cite as

A framework for the study of firms as constitutional orders

Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Constitutional management Theory of the firm Institutions 

JEL Classification

B53 D23 L22 P51 

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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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