The Limits to Designed Orders

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The Limits to Designed Orders

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Title: The Limits to Designed Orders
Authority under "Distributed Knowledge"
Author: Foss, Kirsten; Foss, Nicolai
Abstract: We examine the argument, put forward by modern management writers and, in a somewhat different guise by Austrian economists, that authority is not a viable mechanism of coordination in the presence of "distributed knowledge" (which corresponds to Hayek’s treatment of the use of dispersed knowledge in society). We define authority and distributed knowledge and argue that authority is compatible with distributed knowledge. Moreover, it is not clear on theoretical grounds how distributed knowledge impacts on economic organization. An implication is that the Austrian argument that designed orders are strongly constrained by the Hayekian knowledge problem (Hayek, Kirzner, Sautet) is shaky. The positive flipside of this argument is that Austrians confront an exciting research agenda in theorizing how distributed knowledge impacts economic organization.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/7291
Date: 2004-01-23

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