Understanding the Firm: Spatial and Organizational Dimensions

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Firms are at the very heart of modern day life. They come in a seemingly infinite variety - from transnationals to small firm, from corporations to branch plants, to subsidiaries and joint ventures, from subcontractors to franchisees, from sole proprietorships to partnerships, from manufacturers to service providers and retailers. For the most part we view them as the creators, destroyers, and repositories of jobs - the creators and destroyers of people's livelihoods, lives, and dreams. But, deciding just what a firm is is neither a simple nor a straightforward task. Against a background of the dynamic complexity and plurality that business forms (and firms) can assume, there is a constant search within academic research for the processes that create and maintain both enterprise and enterprises in capitalist societies: a search for a theory of the firm. This book addresses some of the gaps in the current state of the theory of the firm from an economic geography perspective: issues around the boundaries of the firm; the collective agency of the firm; the political firm, financial markets, and the state; and the firm in place.