In order to fully comprehend the phenomena of transaction cost and/or evolutionary economics, it is imperative that the concept of management accounting be fully understood as well. Management accounting may be defined in various manners. It is basically related to the use of accounting information by managers of organizations. It helps them in making prudent and timely decisions to run their businesses in an efficient and effective manner.
"Transaction Cost Economics concerns itself with markets and hierarchies as alternative governance mechanisms for completing a set of transactions. Market forms of governance tend to rely on prices, competition, and contracts to keep all parties to an exchange informed of their rights and responsibilities it is based on two assumptions about economic actorseconomic transactions are intendedly rational, but only limitedly so and economic actors seek self-interest with guile." (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3933/is_199811/ai_n8812605/print)
According to Williamson (1996), this type of economics is basically related to the, "governance of contractual relations" and it consists of three levels which can be easily understood by means of the schematic diagram shown below:
The institutional environment helps us to understand and define that "rules of the game". This includes all those factors that may influence or result in a change in the "comparative governance costs leading to a reconfiguration of economic organization". Williamson has basically defined governance to be of three types; market, hybrid and hierarchy. The individual basically is a, "result of the strict assumption of opportunism (i.e., self -interest seeking with guile) and human cognition is subject to bounded rationality (i.e., "intendedly rational, but only limitedly so").
In addition, TCE views governance as the means, "by which to infuse order, thereby to mitigate conflict and realize mutual gains the key purpose of organization on which transaction cost economics focuses is that of adaptation, of which two kinds were distinguished: autonomous adaptation in response to changes in relative prices, and cooperative adaptation accomplished through administration. Not only do transactions have differing "needs" for adaptations of these two kinds, but governance structures have differing capacities to supply autonomous and cooperative adaptation". (Williamson 2000, pp. 12, 19-20)
New Institutional Theory
Oliver Williamson is popularly known as the founder of the New Institutional Theory (also called the Evolutionary Theories of Economics) and he also coined the term "institutional economics" in 1975. However, its origins can be traced back to the works of Coase (1937), Hayek (1937, 1945), Chandler (1962), Simon (1947), Arrow (1963), Davis and North (1971), Alchian and Demsetz (1972), Macneil (1978), Holmstrm (1979) and others.
Various definitions for the new institutional theory can be found in literature. Rosenberg (2000,p. 70) has defined it as, "a mechanism blind variation and natural selection that operates everywhere and always throughout the universe."
"The new institution