Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States by Albert O. HirschmanExit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States by Albert O. Hirschman

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

byAlbert O. Hirschman

Paperback | February 1, 1972

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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.”

Albert O. Hirschman is 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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Title:Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and StatesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:176 pagesPublished:February 1, 1972Publisher:HarvardLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0674276604

ISBN - 13:9780674276604

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from This Book May Make You Smarter! Although the writing style is a bit more formal than we're accustomed to now, it is obvious that this author (a master in the subject) took great pains to be highly accurate in describing the dynamics he analyzes for us. He helps us see our lives as consumers, as citizens, as employees, or even as managers. As such, we get to see what 'remedial' actions may or may not work in given organizational situations. Since this book was written, our lives and our expectations have become faster and more complex, but for many people the sense of direct influence seems to have eroded. Prof Hirschman offers some thoughtful guidance, so we can avoid wasting time on ineffective strategies, and instead direct our actions to where we might actually influence positive outcomes. Well worth a second read.
Date published: 2014-03-31

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction and Doctrinal Background
    • Enter “exit” and “voice”
    • Latitude for deterioration, and slack in economic thought
    • Exit and voice as impersonations of economics and politics
  • 2. Exit
    • How the exit option works
    • Competition as collusive behavior
  • 3. Voice
    • Voice as a residual of exit
    • Voice as an alternative to exit
  • 4. A Special Difficulty in Combining Exit and Voice
  • 5. How Monopoly Can Be Comforted by Competition
  • 6. On Spatial Duopoly and the Dynamics of Two-Party Systems
  • 7. A Theory of Loyalty
    • The activation of voice as a function of loyalty
    • Loyalist behavior as modified by severe initiation and high penalties for exit
    • Loyalty and the difficult exit from public goods (and evils)
  • 8. Exit and Voice in American Ideology and Practice
  • 9. The Elusive Optimal Mix of Exit and Voice
  • Appendixes
    • A. A simple diagrammatic representation of voice and exit
    • B. The choice between voice and exit
    • C. The reversal phenomenon
    • D. Consumer reactions to price rise and quality decline in the case of several connoisseur goods
    • E. The effects of severity of initiation on activism: design for an experiment (in collaboration with Philip G. Zimbardo and Mark Snyder)
  • Index

Editorial Reviews

One of the masterpieces of contemporary political thought.