"Managerial Meta-Knowledge, Uncertainty, and Adaptation: Governance Choice when Firms do not Know their Capabilities" Much research on economic organization (e.g., transaction cost economics) is based on an assumption that firms accurately know their own capabilities. In terms of what managers know about the resources of the firm (including employee knowledge) we argue that this amounts to an assumption of perfect managerial meta-knowledge. However, research streams on resource cognition, transaction memory and organizational self- knowledge suggests that this assumption is not in general warranted. We examine the implications for economic organization of less-than-perfect managerial meta-knowledge. Specifically, we show that imperfect managerial meta- knowledge is a cause of surprises in contractual relationships, affects the ability of coordinated adaptation, and an opportunism-independent driver of ex post transaction costs. We discuss implications for efficient governance choice of imperfect managerial meta-knowledge. Our study contributes to the ongoing cross-fertilization between the knowledge-based view and transaction cost economics.

Publication information

Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages44
StatePublished - 2014
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 1 Aug 20145 Aug 2014
Conference number: 74


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014
CountryUnited States
Internet address

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ID: 40964207