This chapter provides an economist’s perspective, discussing some of the strategic problems that arise in an organization or society where different members have different ideological perspectives. It considers how far values of tolerance and debate can prevail in the presence of strong commitments to opposing opinions. In particular, it considers critically, in the light of the previous chapters, whether an ethic based on the common good is of any help. The chapter argues that some ideologies cannot accommodate dissent better than others because they provide opportunities for dissenters to contribute constructively to the welfare of others. Other ideologies, by contrast, encourage critics to become disruptive. The chapter concludes by considering some practical applications of this analysis.
A New Research Agenda
Economics of International Business sets out a new agenda for international business research. Mark Casson asserts that it is time to move the subject on from sterile debates about transaction cost economies and resource-based theories of the firm. Instead of focusing on the individual firm, the new agenda focuses on the global systems view of international business. A static view of the firm’s environment is replaced by a dynamic view which highlights the volatility of the international business environment. Coping with volatility requires entrepreneurial skills, flexibility and the need to synthesize information on a global basis. To co-ordinate the global system properly, entrepreneurs must co-operate through social networks of trust, as well as competing. Constructing a network of joint ventures, it is argued, is simply not enough.