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Call for Papers: Special Issue

Call for Papers: Heterodox Perspectives on the Interaction between Business Organisation and Public Policy

Editors: Christos Pitelis, Jochen Runde

The Special Issue invites contributions on the interaction between business organisation and public policy, from alternative ‘heterodox’ conceptual perspectives.

The past thirty years have seen leading non-mainstream economists including Joseph Schumpeter, Ronald Coase, Edith Penrose, George Richardson, Cyert and March, Harold Demsetz, and Nelson and Winter, achieve recognition as founders of leading conceptual perspectives on business organisation and management. None of these authors were particularly interested in business and managerial practice for their own sake, their interest in firms and industry structures flowing instead from a desire to shape public policy. Nevertheless, Coase’s famous 1937 article became the cornerstone of the transaction costs perspective on business organisation, while Penrose (1959) and Demsetz (1988) are widely acknowledged as the founding figures of the Resource-based view (RBV) and the Dynamic Capabilities (DCs) perspectives (Teece, 2007).

In a similar way, March has come to be viewed as a founding father of organization studies and the study of business organisation, on the basis of the original book of 1963 by Cyert and March on the behavioural theory of the firm (see March, 2007). Further, Schumpeter’s views on “creative destruction” precipitated evolutionary perspectives on innovation and industry structures and informed classic works such as Nelson and Winter’s 1982 “evolutionary theory” (see e.g. Nelson and Winter, 2002) and the systems of innovation approach (see Lundvall, 2007). Finally, George Richardson’s (1972) work on the market-hierarchy-inter-firm cooperation nexus has inspired workon alliances, clusters and other non-collusive forms of inter-firm relationships.

The focus in these contributions on imperfect cognition, disequilibrium, evolution, resource creation, big business competition, and innovation, are closely related to, and sometimes re-invent, contributions by Cambridge school scholars such as Nicky Kaldor (1972), Luigi Pasinetti (2009) and Joan Robinson (1977). However these relations, as well as implications for business organisation and public policy, and, importantly, the interaction between these two, have as yet attracted little attention.

At a point at which the record of neoclassical economics is highly questioned, it is important and timely to explore the interrelationship between these ‘heterodox’ views in economics and organisation-management, and their implications for business organisation and public policy. This special issue aims to contribute towards filling this important gap in the literature.

An indicative, by no means exhaustive, list of questions that might be addressed includes:

• What are the implications of post-Keynesian, behavioural Schumpeterian, evolutionary, RBV – DCV, transaction costs, and other views/perspectives for the nature and scope of business organisation and public policy?
• Whether and how might RBV, DCV and transaction costs theory inform public anti-trust, industrial, innovation, trade and competitiveness policies?
• Whether and how can a focus on innovation fostered by big business competition help align business strategy to public policy as implied by the Penrose-inspired RBV and the systems of innovation view?
• Whether and how does Richardson’s analysis of inter-firm cooperation inform business strategy and (its relationship to) public policy?
• What is the relationship between the above theories and the clusters-ecosystems approach to public policy and related ideas emphasising public-private (and sometimes polity) partnerships?
• Is there “good practice” for business strategy, public policy and supra-national governance that might foster global value creation sustainably? And can they be aligned? (Mahoney et al, 2009)?


Coase, R.H. (1937). ‘The nature of the firm’. Economica, Vol 4, pp 386-405.

Demsetz, H. (1988). ‘The theory of the firm revisited’. Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press. Vol. 4, No. 1, pp.141-61.

Kaldor, (1972). ‘The irrelevance of equilibrium economics’, The Economic Journal, Vol. 82, No. 328, 1237-1255.

Lundvall, B.A. (2007). ‘National innovations systems: analytical concept and development tools’, Industry and Innovation, 14, 1, pp. 95-119.

Mahoney, J. T., McGahan, A. M. Pitelis, C. N. (2009). ‘The Interdependence of Private and Public Interests’. Organization Science, Vol. 20, No. 6, November–December, pp. 1034–1052

March, J.G (2007). ‘The Study of Organizations and Organizing Since 1945’. Organization Studies. Vol. 28, pp. 9-19.
Nelson, R. R. and S. G. Winter (2002). ‘Evolutionary theorizing in economics’. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 16, No.2, pp. 23-46.

Penrose, E.T. (1959). The Theory of the Growth of the Firm. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pasinetti, L. Keynes and the Cambridge Keynesians: A 'Revolution in Economics' to be Accomplished, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Richardson, G.B. (1972). ‘The organisation of industry’, Economic Journal, Vol. 82, No. 327, pp.883-896.

Robinson, J. (1977). ‘What are the questions?’. Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 15, No.4, 1318

Teece, D. (2007) ‘Explicating dynamic capabilities: the nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance’. Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 28, No. 13, 1319-1350.

Further information
Christos Pitelis:,
Jochen Runde:

Submission of Papers
The deadline for the submission of papers is 29th May 2015.
Submissions should be made using the journal’s online submission system.

There is the opportunity, during the submission process, to indicate that your manuscript is a candidate for the Special Issue on ‘Heterodox Perspectives on the Interaction Between Business Organisation and Public Policy’. Authors are also advised to include a note indicating this in a covering letter that can be uploaded during the submission process.
All papers submitted will be considered using the CJE’s normal peer review process. Please refer to the Journal’s information for authors.