Some traditional matters for managers

Managerial Economics
May 26, 2000

Textbook treatments of managerial economics range from straight economics texts with just a nod in the direction of business, to business texts loosely structured round some economistic concepts. This text lies closer to the former. It is aimed at intermediate-level courses in microeconomics and intermediate or advanced courses specialising in managerial applications, including MBA modules.

The author engagingly describes it as not a slick American text, and it is without companion study guides and workbooks, and he says that he has taken a stand against a "chatty, informal, story-telling style". A traditionalist text it is, concentrating on economic models rather than trendy strategy frameworks. The contents are traditional, too: a review of methodology, tools and techniques of economics and applications, demand and cost analysis, market structure, extensions to the pricing model, state regulation and its impact on firms, and organisational architecture. Each chapter is illustrated with small examples, not full cases, which is what one wants.

There are severe omissions. None of the following is treated: multinational enterprise, foreign direct investment, mergers acquisitions and takeovers, e-commerce, corporate culture and joint ventures and alliances. Thus, many of the most important areas where economics has contributed to the analysis of business problems are omitted, and the business world is largely treated as uni-national. I hope the second edition casts its net more widely. Economics, in its managerial variant, is more widely useful even when it is as carefully presented as here.

Peter Buckley is professor of international business, University of Leeds.

Managerial Economics: Firms, Markets and Business Decisions. First Edition

Author - Ian Dobbs
ISBN - 0 19 877570 9
Publisher - Oxford University Press
Price - £24.99
Pages - 493

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