Elizabeth Anderson Beyond Homo Economicus: New Developments in Theories of Social Norms (image via http://www-personal.umich.edu/~eandersn/norms.pdf)

Elizabeth Anderson – Beyond Homo Economicus: New Developments in Theories of Social Norms

“For more than a century, Homo economicus has exclusively populated the theoretical world of economics. This model of the rationally self-interested actor has also come to dominate substantial subfields of political science, sociology, law, and philosophy. However, many theorists doubt whether this model can explain most social phenomena unless it is supplemented with more socially sophisticated elements, such as so- cial and ethical values, altruism, and desires for social status. Among these theorists are Avner Ben-Ner and Louis Putterman, who have published the results of such supplementation by various contributors in Economics, Values, and Organization. The contributors ask: Why and when do people cooperate? How do social norms evolve? How do values and incentives interact and influence social organizations and market outcomes?

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Harrington Emerson The Twelve Principles of Efficiency (image via en.wikipedia.org)

Harrington Emerson – The Twelve Principles of Efficiency

Harrington Emerson’s earlier book “Efficiency as a Basis for Operation and Wages” appeared originally in 1908, and a third edition, revised and enlarged, is being reissued almost in parallel with this second and later work on “The Twelve Principles of Efficiency.” The relations between the first and second presentations of the subject thus become clear. The former sets forth a new view of the whole industrial problem and of the relations and proportions of the factors entering into it. It is the declaration of a philosophy. This latter work, stronger even than its predecessor, and more specific in statement, reduces the doctrine of efficiency to a code upon which to base rules of practice.

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Taylor scientific management (image via en.wikipedia.org)

Frederick W. Taylor – The Principles of Scientific Management

“President Roosevelt, in his address to the Governors at the White House, prophetically remarked that “The conservation of our national resources is only preliminary to the larger question of national efficiency.” The whole country at once recognized the importance of conserving our material resources and a large movement has been started which will be effective in accomplishing this object.

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max weber The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

Max Weber – The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

“German philosophy, political theory and economics in the nineteenth century were very different from their counterparts in Britain. The dominant position of utilitarianism and classical political economy in the latter country was not reproduced in Germany, where these were held at arm’s length by the influence of Idealism and, in the closing decades of the nineteenth century, by the growing impact of Marxism. In Britain, J. S. Mill’s System of Logic (1843) unified the natural and social sciences in a framework that fitted comfortably within existing traditions in that country. Mill was Comte’s most distinguished British disciple, if sharply critical of some of his excesses. 

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elroy dimson market efficiency

Dimson & Mussavian – A Brief History of Market Efficiency

“The concept of efficiency is central to finance. Primarily, the term efficiency is used to describe a market in which relevant information is impounded into the price of financial assets. This is the primary focus of the articles reviewed here. Sometimes, however, economists use this word to refer to operational efficiency, emphasising the way resources are employed to facilitate the operation of the market. Most of this review is concerned with the former definition, namely the informational efficiency of financial markets. At the end of this paper, we also consider the microstructure of financial markets.

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Morgen Witzel A short history of efficiency

Morgen Witzel – A Short History of Efficiency

“Efficiency is generally considered to be one of the great management virtues. From scientific management to business process re-engineering, there has been a sustained concentration on efficiency as a core business value, with a strongly assumed link between efficiency on the one hand and productivity and profitability on the other. The theory is a simple one: efficient businesses survive while inefficient ones go to the wall.

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the ideal city - historical perspective on efficiency

Looking Back on Efficiency: A Historical Perspective

History is written by the winners. Sadly this saying does not only apply when we read about wars. Any other documentation is just as much a product of a writer. And he always has a distinct view of the world. It is the source of a majority of historical data that give us insights in what happened before our time. It helps us to structure the continuous flow of happenings and events in a meaningful way. Suddenly details pop up that have been lost in time and we can reenact aspects of history deemed unimportant or dangerous.

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The New Technological Revolution Carlotta Perez (Image via people.ru )

Carlota Perez – The New Technological Revolution

“Today and tomorrow we will be exploring the frontiers of technology. We are all eager to identify the next big thing or the next technological revolution. That seems to be the modern version of El Dorado! The truth is that technology has been so impressive lately that we have all become convinced that it’s disruptive innovation that brings growth and success. Well, it does… and yet, it doesn’t!

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Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 08.58.16

An Ngram of Efficiency

When confronted with a big, abstract topic I always feel at ease after running it through Google Ngram Viewer. Not necessarily because I´m hoping for a sudden epiphany – though it happened every now and then – but more out of comfort the continuous line offers a brain. A brain that keeps chewing over possible connections that big, abstract topics usually lack. In the case of an ngram of efficiency it worked out pretty well.

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