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CiteWeb id: 19980000006

CiteWeb score: 17291

DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.94034

ABSENT fiat, the form of organization that survives in an activity is the one that delivers the product demanded by customers at the lowest price while covering costs.1 Our goal is to explain the survival of organizations characterized by separation of "ownership" and "control"-a problem that has bothered students of corporations from Adam Smith to Berle and Means and Jensen and Meckling.2 In more precise language, we are concerned with the survival of organizations in which important decision agents do not bear a substantial share of the wealth effects of their decisions. We argue that the separation of decision and risk-bearing functions observed in large corporations is common to other organizations such as large professional partnerships, financial mutuals, and nonprofits. We contend that separation of decision and risk-bearing functions survives in these organizations in part because of the benefits of specialization of

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