We examine the argument, put forward by modern management writers and, in a somewhat different guise by Austrian economists, that authority is not a viable mechanism of coordination in the presence of “distributed knowledge” We define authority and distributed knowledge and argue that authority is compatible with distributed knowledge. Moreover, it is not clear on theoretical grounds how distributed knowledge impacts on economic organization. An implication is that the Austrian argument that designed orders are strongly constrained by the Hayekian dispersed knowledge (Hayek, Kirzner, Sautet) is less decisive than it has usually been taken to be. The positive flipside of this argument is that Austrians confront an exciting research agenda in theorizing how distributed knowledge impacts economic organization.
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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