The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems
Michael C. Jensen
Harvard Business School; Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc.; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Michael C. Jensen, A THEORY OF THE FIRM: GOVERNANCE, RESIDUAL CLAIMS AND ORGANIZATIONAL FORMS, Harvard University Press, December 2000; Journal of Finance, July 1993
Since 1973 technological, political, regulatory, and economic forces have been changing the worldwide economy in a fashion comparable to the changes experienced during the nineteenth century Industrial Revolution. As in the nineteenth century, we are experiencing declining costs, increaing average (but decreasing marginal) productivity of labor, reduced growth rates of labor income, excess capacity, and the requirement for downsizing and exit. The last two decades indicate corporate internal control systems have failed to deal effectively with these changes, especially slow growth and the requirement for exit. The next several decades pose a major challenge for Western firms and political systems as these forces continue to work their way through the worldwide economy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 65
Keywords: Productivity, technological change, excess capacity, exit, internal control systems, corporate control, R&D, research and development, industrial revolution, boards of directors, governance.
JEL Classification: D21, D23, D24, G34, L21, L22, O32Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 9, 1999 ; Last revised: September 14, 2011
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