I owe some of my interest in organisations to a guy called Peter G. Klein.
Over 10 years ago, when I first decided that there was going to be a shift in the skills required to be an effective manager in an environment of cross-organisation coordination and open information, and when I was developing the initial ideas around ManageWithoutThem, it was in part driven from something Klein had written.
Specifically, I was skimming through an article call ‘0530 New Institutional Economics’ that Klein had written for some sort of encyclopaedia of economics. (It’s still available here)
The article opened my eyes to the possibility of a deep understanding of organisations and the fundamentals of why they exist. Something told me that this was the fundamental economics of the firm and that the ‘managed organisation’ (in the sense that piles and piles of management books that I was reading at the time assumed) was an anomaly.
I’ve since learnt some more of the political dynamic that keeps organised managed; but I still believe the ideas introduced in the original NIE article by Peter G. Klein are the fundamentals.
I even found myself, when often disagreeing with something a manager had said, saying ‘you don’t have a valid theory of the firm’ – until I realised how completely ridiculous I was starting to sound…. 🙂
Though I never actually finished reading the article. To be honest I went on a 10 year tangent. But with the release of Klein’s new collection of writings I’ve decided I’m going read every word. I’d also recommend managers do the same.
Links to purchase and download for free are available on the Mises.org blog: Why Klein’s Book Is an Event to Celebrate