Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States

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Harvard University Press, 1970 - Business & Economics - 162 pages
23 Reviews

An innovator in contemporary thought on economic and political development looks here at decline rather than growth. Albert O. Hirschman makes a basic distinction between alternative ways of reacting to deterioration in business firms and, in general, to dissatisfaction with organizations: one, “exit,” is for the member to quit the organization or for the customer to switch to the competing product, and the other, “voice,” is for members or customers to agitate and exert influence for change “from within.”

The efficiency of the competitive mechanism, with its total reliance on exit, is questioned for certain important situations. As exit often undercuts voice while being unable to counteract decline, loyalty is seen in the function of retarding exit and of permitting voice to play its proper role.

The interplay of the three concepts turns out to illuminate a wide range of economic, social, and political phenomena. As the author states in the preface, “having found my own unifying way of looking at issues as diverse as competition and the two-party system, divorce and the American character, black power and the failure of 'unhappy' top officials to resign over Vietnam, I decided to let myself go a little.”

  

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Review: Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States

User Review  - Etanouye - Goodreads

Didn't read all the appendices. Read full review

Review: Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States

User Review  - Rolin Bissell - Goodreads

Although mercifully short and jargon free, this still felt like a turgid and belabored treatment of an insight that probably seemed a lot fresher when Hirschman first made it over 40 years ago. In E,V ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction and Doctrinal Background
1
Exit
21
Voice
30
A Special Difficulty in Combining Exit
44
How Monopoly Can be Comforted
55
On Spatial Duopoly and the Dynamics
62
A Theory of Loyalty
76
Exit and Voice in American Ideology
106
The Elusive Optimal Mix of Exit and Voice
120
A A simple diagrammatic representation
129
B The choice between voice and exit
132
Copyright

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About the author (1970)

Albert O. Hirschman was Professor of Social Science, Emeritus, at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, following a career of prestigious appointments, honors, and awards. Perhaps the most widely known and admired of his many books are Exit, Voice, and Loyalty (Harvard) and The Passions and the Interests (Princeton).

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