The Coevolution of Technology and Organization in the Transition to the Factory System

46 Pages Posted: 12 May 1998

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 1997

Abstract

This essay is a reinterpretation of the debate over the origins of the factory system. In the end, it argues, the explanation for the rise of the factory system lies in the realm of organization, but not in the qualities of organization envisaged by either the "radical" view or the transaction-cost view. Drawing on the recent explanations of Clark and Lazonick, the paper suggests that the explanation lies in the volume effect rather than the division-of-labor effect of increasing extent of the market. The essay closes with some musings on the logic of both efficiency and exploitation in historical explanation.

JEL Classification: L2, N6

Suggested Citation

Langlois, Richard N., The Coevolution of Technology and Organization in the Transition to the Factory System (December 1997). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=86508 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.86508

Richard N. Langlois (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://langlois.uconn.edu/

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