Transaction cost economics and Burt’s structural holes


A) Williamson’s transaction cost version (10/16-18, Simon and Williamson)
Why vertical integration occurs and why the M form arises?
Explain underlying assumptions, why markets fail, what the problems associated with market failure (bilateral
exchange) are, and how unified ownership and the M-form help resolve these problems
B) in what ways does Williamson’s account differ from Chandler’s historical analysis of the growth of large firms
and development of m-form? What does Chandler focus on or include that Williamson leaves out? What are the
differences in their conclusions?

A) Burt’s notion of structural holes, and explain how they create opportunities for brokerage, innovation, or
competitive advantage
Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Burt’s account in light of other readings and our discussions in class
B) Explain Podolny’s notion of networks as prisms. How does it alter Burt’s argument?

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