Notwithstanding their insights, and their innovative contributions to a better

understanding of the economy of the firm, the accepted theories of the firm still

have a flavour that is distinctly neoclassical, i.e., they directly or indirectly rely

on ‘‘worldviews’’ (Weltanschauungen) as well as on tools rooted in the neo-classical

tradition. Such a common approach rests on two basic preconceptions. Drawing

upon methodological individualism, which reduces collective phenomena to

transient interactions among individuals, the collective dimension of the firm is

entirely associated to the question of the legal personality and thus to the cor-

poration. As a consequence, once the firm – seen as a corporation – dissolves in

atomistic interplays, or is merely understood either as a ‘‘legal fiction’’ or a

‘‘governance device’’ dealing with the relations among stakeholders, it loses its

fundamental contents of an economic, holistic and dynamic nature.