Skip to main content
main-content

Über dieses Buch

This book introduces the research agenda of relational economics as a political economy for the governance of local and global economic transactions in modern societies. It analyses the mechanisms of global value creation and production networks by studying cooperation in intra- and inter-firm networks, intersectoral stakeholder management, and transcultural leadership.

The author develops a categorical taxonomy for private and public value creation based on the effective and efficient interlinking of, and interaction between, a range of resources and abilities. In contrast to mainstream economics, which largely focuses on the laws of discrete and dyadic exchange transactions, this book assesses the polyvalent characteristics of relational transactions.

The chief categories involved in an economic theory of the relations between events are the relational transactions and their various forms of governance; the polycontextual cooperation between economic, political and civil society agents; and the factor incomes and relational rents that relational transactions produce. Today, relational transactions are the rule, not the exception, in modern economies and their global value creation networks. Given its scope and focus, this book will appeal to scholars of economics, economic sociology, organisational studies and related fields.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction: Relational Economy and Economic Theory

Abstract
Global and regional intra- and interfirm production networks, digital innovation and platform economies are, to name a few, cooperation projects of modern economic value creation processes. These can only be processed with the theoretical methods of today’s standard economics in an unsatisfactorily way. The polyvalent phenomena of the economy of a society are moving away from the categories of pure economics. Against this background, the basic categories of relational economics are introduced and defined as a political economy.
Josef Wieland

Transaction and Contract

Frontmatter

Chapter 2. Discrete Exchanges and Relational Transactions

Abstract
Standard Economics analyses the laws of discrete and dyadic exchange transactions. Contrary to this, the polycontextural characteristics of Relational Transactions are developed and discussed. As a result, economic transactions are understood as attractors of multivalent actors and events. They are the basic unit of relational economics and central to understanding the material and immaterial value creation of modern societies. The problem of the resulting trade-offs and complexity of economic analysis is discussed and strictly differentiated.
Josef Wieland

Chapter 3. Relational Contracts and Goods

Abstract
Relational transactions as multivalent cooperation projects are coordinated via specific forms of contracts. By definition, relational contracts are targeted at generating shared value as a cooperation rent. The continuous nature of the relationship between exchange and relational transactions must be considered. Following Ian R. Macneil’s work in contract theory, the motivational and behavioural starting points and indicators of relational contract theory are developed. A specific form of relational transactions, moral or relational goods, is introduced into the discussion.
Josef Wieland

Governance and Polycontextuality

Frontmatter

Chapter 4. Governance and Societal Normativity

Abstract
Relational contracts refer to a “social matrix,” which introduces a social-theoretical dimension into legal contract theory. This corresponds to the effectiveness of formal and informal institutions in contractual relations, which require multiple forms of governance and mechanisms to be adequately proportioned. The parameters of such a relational governance structure are functional equivalents for each other. Governance is both a form of relation and a process of relationing. It thus always processes societal normativity, which can only be successfully linked in and through the transaction as a unity of difference.
Josef Wieland

Chapter 5. Polylingualism and Coding

Abstract
One of the core aspects of Relational Economics is the way in which social normativity is processed and how its specific language games are linked. Among other aspects, it provides answers to the question of how the integration of economy and society can be successful under conditions of functional differentiation between functional systems. Beyond restrictive “embeddedness” notions, this theoretical and practical challenge can be met by differentiating functional, organizational and personal systems. Binary codings and guiding differences play an essential role here, which are shown for several system relations and their practical management consequences.
Josef Wieland

The Firm and Polycontextual Management

Frontmatter

Chapter 6. Stakeholder Resources and Stakeholder Interests

Abstract
Building on the previous rather theoretical-categorical discussion, the next three chapters will cover the resulting consequences for the management of companies and organisations in general. Understanding the nature of the firm as a relation of stakeholder resources and interests is a consistent expression of a relational understanding of economic processes. All stakeholders of a company invest resources in these organisations and naturally expect a return on their investment. A distinction is made between factor income and cooperation rents, a distinction that is essential for understanding network economies.
Josef Wieland

Chapter 7. Normativity and Polycontextual Governance

Abstract
Global or regional value creation or production networks are the paradigmatic cases of relational networks. This is particularly obvious in the case of corporate social responsibility. Within the framework of conventional economic theory, this can at best be explained as the result of negative external effects and attempts to internalise them, the relational view reveals further and other aspects of this value creation context. In particular, the focus is on the importance of global civil society in economic and social value creation processes. However, for companies, this implies the development of the capacity for trans-sectoral stakeholder management.
Josef Wieland

Chapter 8. Leadership and Transculturalism

Abstract
In conventional economic standard theory, leadership as a productive factor systematically plays only a minimal role. As an expression of the principal-agency relationship, leadership is equated with position and right of direction, which allows only a fragmented analysis of the leadership function in organisations. Based on the consideration that every leadership relationship is a relation of leader and follower, but that not every leadership relationship is relational, the characteristics of relational leadership are developed. Transcultural leadership, a prerequisite that cannot be ignored in value creation networks, will be presented as one of the forms of relational leadership and made accessible for in-depth discussion.
Josef Wieland

Cooperation Rent and Societal Value Creation

Frontmatter

Chapter 9. Organisational Cooperation and Rent

Abstract
Karl Marx was one of the first theorists to recognise and address the connection between organisational cooperation and the cooperation rent achieved in this context. He saw it as immanent to the laws of capital utilisation, whereas Berle and Means placed it in the context of the organisation of corporations. Against this background, a very detailed investigation of relational rents has emerged in recent years, which is derived from the company- and co-specialization of organisational resources. In general, they are the result of the successful relation of idiosyncratic resources and capabilities through efficient governance structures.
Josef Wieland

Chapter 10. Relational Rent and Societal Value Creation

Abstract
Relational rents are created in the economy and society as a shared value that has to be distributed. Creating Shared Value (CSV) or Shared Value Creation (SVC) are relevant keywords in a societal discussion on this subject. The extent of achievable relational rents depends on the willingness to cooperate, the ability to cooperate and the resulting opportunities for cooperation of a team or a network of teams. The effectiveness of individual and organisational relational norms play a decisive role in this context. Their discussion, therefore, constitutes a significant part of this chapter, as they are the foundations of a team’s possible cooperation corridor.
Josef Wieland

Chapter 11. Relational Costs and the Logic of Relational Economics

Abstract
The creation of cooperation corridors through specific investments by the collaborating partners is associated with costs, which in turn are compensated by the income from the cooperation. In addition to the familiar transaction costs, these include adjustment costs, cooperation costs and relational costs. Finally, determining the relationship between cooperation rents and corridors leads to a scheme of relational value creation that distinguishes between entrepreneurial teams and stakeholder networks. Modern societies must manage the trade-offs between cooperation costs and cooperation opportunities if they are to utilise the growth potential of global value creation.
Josef Wieland

Chapter 12. Conclusion: Epistemology and Method

Abstract
This concluding chapter serves as a summary and reflection of the fundamentals of the research program of relational economics theory. In epistemological terms, it is based on Alfred N. Whitehead’s process philosophy and the discussion focuses primarily on the consequences of this orientation for the development of economic theory. Relational economics claims to be the political economy of a relational society. However, this claim cannot be fulfilled without the development of a corresponding monetary theory and a corresponding theory of state action. This is equally and urgently true for a formalisation of this theory, which must go hand in hand with empirical studies as well as case studies.
Josef Wieland
Weitere Informationen

Premium Partner

    Bildnachweise