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Additional resources for Comparative Industrial Systems: Industry under Capitalism, Central Planning and Self-Management

Sample text

They have accounted together for up to 60 per cent of GNP. What are the implications for economic efficiency of an industrial system based on simple profit maximisation? 2 above). Market concentration upsets all this, however, and monopolistic elements generate allocative inefficiency in the forms of prices exceeding marginal cost and excessive advertising (see Cowling and Mueller, 1978). 3) and utility maximisation (see below). 4) in any case casts doubt on the reasonableness of simple profit maximisation as the assumed objective of firms.

142), and that the profit goal is still relevant. Maximum profit remains at worst a standard point of reference, an identifiable outcome against which other outcomes may be set for comparison. More than this, the status of the classical or entrepreneurial model should not be considered impaired by the emergence of managerial theories. It is a perfectly suitable model for competitive conditions: indeed the other models tend to converge on it as the survival of the finn is threatened (Wildsmith, 1973, p.

Alternative neoclassical theories of the finn are products of that capitalist cliche 'the divorce of ownership and control', or the power of professional managers (controllers) to pursue their own objectives, which may not coincide with those of shareholders. Many radicals would challenge this alleged 'divorce', however (see, for example, Westergaard and Resler, 1976, pp. 154-70), and insist that important decisions are still made by a capitalist class with profit as the criterion. It is also claimed (Scott, 1979) that interlocking directorships provide controllers owning large shareholdings with the at 30 Theories of the Capitalist Fz"rm information they need to ensure that firms maximise profits.

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