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  • Capitalism as a System of Governance

    by Bruce R. Scott

    My research interest is in further exploration of the analytic utility of an original conception of capitalism as an indirect, three level system of governance for the economic relationships within political entities, and mostly within nation states.
    My research interest is in further exploration of the analytic utility of an original conception of capitalism as an indirect, three level system of governance for the economic relationships within political entities, and mostly within nation states. This three level model of capitalism is analogous to organized team sports, which are also governed through indirect three level systems, where players are allowed complete freedom of action so long as they obey the rules.

    My research begins from an understanding of why capitalism originated in Europe in the period 1400-1800, and then spread very sporadicalluy to other areas, almost invariably after a change of regime. In brief, its origins were based on limited grants of power to individuals so that they could create new activities to boost incomes and thus be liable for increased tax payments to the crown. Europe experienced unique circumstances in the period 1400-1800 wherein the number of political entities was reduced through open competition and warfare from more than 300 to approximately 40. In the process there were many hostile takeovers. Thus, the spread of capitalism was not gradual, like water flowing along an almost flat surface. Instad it was discontinuous, and dependent upon a change of regime. For example, it may be said that France became capitalist following the events of 1789, while England had already done so in 1689, and China did not do so for almost another 200 years.

    One major hypothesis of my work is that capitalism is centered in the factor markets, which are deeply embedded in society. Thus while trade dates far back in history, factor markets in land, labor, financial capital and the use of legal systems for the mobilization of capital are quite recent developments, and all require that governments relinquish power to private actors. Venice was an early leader in institutional innovations, including escorted convoys to the Middle East to protect its merchants, but it enjoyed approximately 1000 years of limited monarchy before its regime was overthrown by Napoleon's armies; until then, it did not have the free mobility of its factor markets to achieve captialism. An exceptional case is that of the early American colonies; soon after settlement, the colonists established both capitalism and democracy, distributing land relatively equally and therefore creating free factor markets and relatively equal voting rights (I deal with the South as a distinct case).

    Another major hypothesis of my work is that capitalism will tend to yield increased eonomic inequality and thus oligarchy, unless government takes measures to see that all residents have opportunities for human development. Hence I arrive at a paradox: democracy depends on capitalism (i.e., you need decentralized economic power to truly enable decentralized political power) to emerge, yet capitalism also contains the seeds of its subversion.

    I have just finished writing a 700 page book on this topic that is scheduled to be published later this year by Springer Verlag of Heidelberg. My next project will be to try to create a corresponding workbook to be marketed along with the book to interested students and faculty. The workbook will make some of the legal and regulatory isues of capitalism more understandable to non-lawyers, while at the same time making their implications more understandable to students of several disciplines. An example of what it will contain is as follows: legal, business, and political cases from the US in the 19th century, when the society that Tocqueville found to be the most egalitarian in the world in 1830 had become a corrupt oligarchy 70 years later. Improved understanding of the roles of the Supreme Court, the Senate, the legal profession, and the strategies of large firms will be at the center of this example and, in fact, of this workbook as a whole.
  • A.J. Washington: Retaining an NFL Star

    Andrew Wasynczuk and Nicole Shae Bennett

    General Manager Luke Kolville, of the Los Angeles Spartans, struggles with the best approach to negotiate a long-term contract for his star quarterback.
    General Manager Luke Kolville, of the Los Angeles Spartans, struggles with the best approach to negotiate a long-term contract for his star quarterback. The agent for Washington is relatively new to the industry and has his sights set particularly high. Kolville needs to weigh a number of effects this negotiation will have on the player, his teammates, and the long-term prospects of the team.

    Keywords: Retention; Human Capital; Contracts; Managerial Roles; Negotiation; Groups and Teams; Sports Industry; Los Angeles;

    Citation:

    Wasynczuk, Andrew, and Nicole Shae Bennett. "A.J. Washington: Retaining an NFL Star." Harvard Business School Case 909-033, December 2008. (Revised February 2015.) View Details
  • Emotion in Negotiations: An Introduction

    Andrew Wasynczuk and Colleen Kaftan

    This note reviews some of the relevant research and offers advice for managing and dealing with emotions in the negotiation context.
    This note reviews some of the relevant research and offers advice for managing and dealing with emotions in the negotiation context. In particular, negotiators should strive to understand their own emotions and feelings, and be aware of the emotions the other party may be expressing. By learning to recognize and manage emotions, one is likely to improve many facets of the negotiation and obtain better outcomes for oneself and others.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Emotions;

    Citation:

    Wasynczuk, Andrew, and Colleen Kaftan. "Emotion in Negotiations: An Introduction." Harvard Business School Background Note 914-032, January 2014. (Revised October 2014.) View Details
  • A.J. Washington: Retaining an NFL Star

    Andrew Wasynczuk and Karen Huang

    A.J. Washington explores the early phase of a contract negotiation between a professional football team and its star quarterback.
    A.J. Washington explores the early phase of a contract negotiation between a professional football team and its star quarterback. This case illustrates the challenges associated with negotiation for human capital. Specifically, it explores the tension between negotiating a favorable deal with an employee, and the ability to enlist and motivate the greatest possible contribution from that employee to the organization. There are a number of pastures to explore in debriefing the case, with potential emphasis being placed on those most correlated to the course being taught. A.J. Washington serves particularly well as an introductory case in a Negotiation course surfacing themes of interest assessment, agency and contingent contracts. The case can also be used to explore topics in courses on compensation design or managing human capital.

    Keywords: negotiation; compensation; human capital; Human Capital; Negotiation; Sports; Compensation and Benefits; Sports Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Wasynczuk, Andrew, and Karen Huang. "A.J. Washington: Retaining an NFL Star." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 914-018, November 2013. View Details

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