Behavioural theory

Earl, Peter E. (2012). Behavioural theory. In Michael Dietrich and Jackie Krafft (Ed.), Handbook on the economics and theory of the firm (pp. 96-101) Cheltenham, U. K.: Edward Elgar Publishing. doi:10.4337/9781848446489.00017

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Author Earl, Peter E.
Title of chapter Behavioural theory
Title of book Handbook on the economics and theory of the firm
Place of Publication Cheltenham, U. K.
Publisher Edward Elgar Publishing
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Chapter in textbook
DOI 10.4337/9781848446489.00017
ISBN 9781848446489
1848446489
Editor Michael Dietrich
Jackie Krafft
Chapter number 10
Start page 96
End page 101
Total pages 6
Total chapters 13
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Proponents of the behavioural approaches to the firm believe it may be-.unwise to
begin theorizing about· firms from the comfort of one's armchair with analytically
convenient a&surnptions. Rather, one should first try to acquire knowledge about the
behaviour of actual firms and human decision-makers in general: This research strategy has a long history. Over a century.ago, Marshall's evolutionary view ofthe firm
reflected his considerable knowledge of actual firms, while ·early work on mark-up
pricing by Hall and Hitch (1939) was based on interview/questionnaire data. However,
what emerged as the behavioural theory of the firm during the 1950s and 1960s via
the work of Herbert Simon, Richard Cyert and James March and their colleagues at
the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh (later Carnegie-Mellon University)
reflected not just. knowledge about firms but also insights from psychology, sociology
and organizational science. The key contribution is Cyert and March's (1963) book
A Behavioral Theory of the Firm. This not only offered a view of the firm that was
radically innovative in analytical terms but it looked unlike any previous economics
book since it was replete with complex decision-tree diagrams and masses of computer program code. [introduction extract]
Q-Index Code BX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Fri, 11 Jan 2013, 11:48:44 EST by Alys Hohnen on behalf of School of Economics