Learning from GE in the Era of Corporate Governance

General Electric (GE), which is continuously in the top position in terms of sales, capitalization and “most admired corporations”, continues to be an example of good corporate governance. This is a function of the “principles” that previous corporate administrations have inspired by current managers and imposed on the culture and philosophy of the business. And yet, the transition from Jack Welch to the promising Jeff Immelt was accompanied by some disappointments.

A Blog Article by Dimitrios Koumparoulis.

The events of September 11, 2001, which resulted in the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York, cost GE the death of two employees, $ 600 million to GE’s insurance subsidiary, a direct drop in orders for its manufacturing operations, stakeholder anxiety and overall sales volatility, due to the economic situation.

Despite the difficulties, the speed of market reactions and the lower sales, Immelt succeeded in improving almost all corporate performance figures. However, even prior to this period, GE’s shares have experienced volatility, such as a drop in their value of 9.3% within 24 hours  from 10 to 11 April 2001.

In terms of corporate governance, a lesson given by GE is that the reaction speed must be well-balanced, prepared and immediate. Another lesson is given to us by Immelt himself: “Success in profitability indicators and good predictions for the future is not enough. The foreseeability itself is likely to be considered suspicious. Now we are talking about quality. ”

In 2001, this company has experienced a very difficult year that demanded sensitivity to corporate governance. The dealing of GE with attendant challenges suggests instructive insights. Two of these, taken from the Business Week publisher note, are listed below:

• Use of experienced executives, who have also been through past crises and recession times.

• Preparing for the recession from the “thick cow” era. Johnson & Johnson, which had been particularly successful at this difficult time, had begun to prepare for the recession that was coming about three years ago.

The quality of benefits (and therefore moral behavior), reaction speed, past experience and timely forecasts are some of the elements required for a proper corporate governance.

Written by Dimitrios Koumparoulis

Edited by Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: General Electric sign on GE Administration Building, Schenectady, New York, USA, May 30, 2009 | © Courtesy of Chuck Miller/Flickr.

Cite this article as: Dimitrios Koumparoulis, "Learning from GE in the Era of Corporate Governance," in Open Economics Blog, 14/01/2019, https://oeb.hypotheses.org/867.

History of Business Administration

Business Administration is combination of economics, social, behavioral and decision sciences, which addresses the interactions of Business Stakeholders and Business Environment in order to maximize the stakeholders’ value creation in a sustainable manner involving People, Capital and Technology. Since Human Capital is more important and sustainability is important consideration for business organizations, broadly Business Administration may be classified under social sciences.

Jaharkanti Dattagupta1

A Blog Article by Dimitrios Koumparoulis.

Business Administration as an independent science has a comparatively short history. Its origins date back to the times when universities or commercial colleges, such as the ones in Leipzig (1898) and Cologne (1901) where first established. Before, there had merely been a variety of contributions dealing with commercial issues, some of which are listed here:

  • 1494: Luca Pacioli, a Venetian Grey Friar and professor of Mathematics is the author of a business mathematics paper entitled “Summa de Arithmetica, Geometrica, Proportioni et Proportionalita”, in which he presents a first approach to accounting among other topics.
  • At the end of the 17th century, in the Age of Mercantilism (= the National Economic Policy in the Age of Absolutism from the 16th to the 18th century; the prime objective was the procurement of funds for the purpose of consolidating state power), Jacques Savary, a close confidant of Colbert, the French Minister of Finance in those days, wrote the work “Le Parfait Negociant”, which was also published in German under the title “Der vollkommene Kauf- und Handelsmann” (The Perfect Merchant). Roughly at the same time Paul Jacob Marperger was working on his first draft of a lexical summary of current commercial knowledge.
  • From 1752-1756 the five-volume lexicon “Eroffnete Akademie fur Kaufleute; oder vollstandiges Kaufmannslexikon” (Open Academy for Merchants: or A Complete Merchant Encyclopedia” is published in which, for the first time, a conscious distinction between Mercantile Science and Cameralism (= the term for economics sciences in Germany during Mercantilism; the science of public administration) is made.
  • The highlight and at the same time the end of commercial science is the work “System des Handels” (The System of Mercantilism) by Johann Michael Leuchs.
  • After the foundation of the commercial colleges, Business Administration develops into a science. The work “Allgemeine kaufmannische Betriebslehre als Privatwirtschaftslehre des Handels und der Industrie” (General Economic Principles as a Private Science of Commerce and the Industry) by Heinrich Nicklisch originates from those days.
  • Erich Gutenberg gives a particular impetus to Business Administration by identifying the principles of Business Administration in his three-volume work begun in 1951.
  • In the 1960s, decision-oriented Business Administration is developed which is derived from the Game Theory developed by J. von Naumann and O. Morgenstern.
  • In recent years, Business Administration has received a new impetus due to the increased significance of ecological and social aspects and the advancement of means of communication.

Written by Dimitrios Koumparoulis

Edited by Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: Small Business Administration Awards Luncheon, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, April 13, 2012 | © Courtesy of Maryland GovPics/Flickr.

Cite this article as: Dimitrios Koumparoulis, "History of Business Administration," in Open Economics Blog, 25/11/2018, https://oeb.hypotheses.org/789.


  1. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/post/Business_administration_belongs_to_social_sciences_or_humanitarian_sciences. []

The Greek Economic Crisis: The Importance of Bureaucracy and Extroversion

According to World Bank figures, the population of Greece accounts for about 0.15% of the world’s population and the Greek GDP is less than 0.3% of the world if measured at nominal or even less, if measured in terms of its actual purchasing power. Nonetheless, the Greek economy has been at the forefront of global interest over the last eight years.

A Blog Article by Dimitrios Koumparoulis.

During recent years, the Greek economy has experienced a crisis that has not been experienced in any other economy of a member state of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the post-war period. The outcome of the crisis was to question the sustainability of the euro and, by extension, the stability of the global financial system.

The need for a return of the Greek economy to a sustainable development path is obvious. However, it is also clear that the pre-crisis development model was the one that led to the deadlocks of this crucial period and which needs to be replaced. The limitation of domestic bureaucracy and the immediate priority of export strategy should be involved in the process of moving towards a new development model.

Private companies are at the core of both the European and the Greek economy. As confirmed by a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey, Greece has to find a way to resolve bureaucracy-related challenges, as the overwhelming majority (70.7%) perceives bureaucracy and experiences it as a development hurdle. At the same time, the focus of each company’s strategy is to approach employees as a growth lever due to the lack of specialized personnel. The loss of revenue of € 2 billion a year for the Greek economy is high, and this finding sounds the risk alert for immediate action. Finally, it is important for private businesses to recognize that digital transformation is not an option but a one-way street. Any delay in the transition can lead to high challenges for the business world.1

High taxes, complicated bureaucratic procedures and low prices from competition are the main obstacles that Greek companies face in their export operations, as recorded by an EU-led research, entitled “Made in Greece: The Big Bet of Greek Exports “. In the quantitative survey, 149 small, medium and large export companies from all over Greece and the sectors of the economy participated, while personal interviews were conducted with entrepreneurs and representatives of export-related entities. Interestingly, while Greek businesses are facing the economic crisis, few are the ones that have gone the way of extroversion, since in 2015, out of a total of 700,000 businesses in Greece, only 17,730 or 2.5% of the total, recorded export activity. The issue of extroversion concerns both the same and the broader business environment. Consequently, the causes must be sought in the internal organization, the small size and other endogenous characteristics of the Greek enterprises, combined with the lack of institutional framework and strong incentives.

The bad thing is that there is no alternative, magical way out. The good thing is that what needs to be done is concrete and, although difficult – especially given the current political instability – is still within the reach of feasibility.

Greek policymakers may have to design and dare.

Written by Dimitrios Koumparoulis

Edited by Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: AVO1185, USA, March 30, 2018 | © Courtesy of USCPublicDiplomacy/Flickr.

Cite this article as: Dimitrios Koumparoulis, "The Greek Economic Crisis: The Importance of Bureaucracy and Extroversion," in Open Economics Blog, 19/11/2018, https://oeb.hypotheses.org/741.


  1. www.pwc.com/private-business-survey. []

The Time of Postcapitalism

While the developed world is experiencing the 4th industrial revolution, digital technology, and mainly artificial intelligence, Karl Marx would return to London, where his tomb lies, to rewrite “Capital”,  his monumental work. For a very simple reason. Because the system of wealth production that he studied and partly admired, before criticizing it, is constantly transforming, but at the same time strengthening.

A Blog Article by Dimitrios Koumparoulis.

With a significant result, a country with a communist political status, China, is today the hottest advocate of the free market system and globalization.

It is also clear, as Paul Mason writes in his book “Postcapitalism”, that we have already entered new ways of production that overturn what we have learned and read to this day.

In 2006, Yochai Benkler, a professor of law at Yale, concluded that the Internet economy was a “new way of production that emerged at the heart of the world’s most developed economies”.  Benkler was trying to define the legal framework for the distribution of Open Source products, known as “Creative Commons”. In his book, “The Wealth of the Networks,” Benkler describes the economic forces that undermine intellectual property by creating patterns of communal and non-hierarchical production practices.

First of all, he said, the emergence of cheap computing power and communication networks gave a large number of people the means to produce intellectual products. Today, everyone can have a blog, make and distribute movies, self-publish digital books, and often get a million people together long before the author’s name is known to traditional publishers.

“The result is that this much more people want today can be made by people who interact and interact with each other on a human and social level rather than as members of the market that communicate and interact through the price system”.

This, he argued, causes the development of non-trade mechanisms, such as decentralized actions of individuals and work in a framework of cooperative and voluntary organization.

It generates new forms of participatory economy in which money is absent or not the basic unit of measure of value. Wikipedia is the best example. It is a digital encyclopedia founded in 2001, collectively written and currently has 26 million entries. Twenty-four million people have reported availability to contribute texts or fix existing ones. Twelve thousand are regular recorders and one hundred and forty thousand casual.

Wikipedia has a staff of 208 people. The thousands of authors offer the texts without remuneration. In a questionnaire that was given to them, 71% replied that he did it because he likes the idea of ​​working without pay, while 63% believed that the information should be free. Every month, eight and a half million entries are read, which places Wikipedia in sixth position over Amazon, the most successful online merchant and not only on the planet. According to estimates, if Wikipedia traded its product, its revenue would reach $ 2,800,000,000 a year.

However, Wikipedia does not make a profit. With its strategy, indeed, it has made it almost impossible for anyone else to have economic benefit in this area. And most importantly, it is one of the most valuable sources of information and information, and (so far) has resisted every attempt of censorship, undermining and plundering.

The principle on which Wikipedia is based is the same as GNU and Linux, which have been set up by Open Source developers, but within a sector of mass consumption. When we visit Amazon pages to buy a camera or a book, our choices, which are recorded, also help other users’ choices. In the language of finance, this is a positive “external consequence”, i.e. an unintentional economic gain. The economic impact of the Wikipedia phenomenon was summed up by Benkler as follows: The Internet makes it possible to organize production on decentralized and collaborative structures without using the market and the management hierarchy. Benkler called this kind of production “based on Common Peer Production”. The concept makes good the foundations of the dominant economic theory for good.

At this particular time when it was possible to produce non-market goods and companies, many were quick to make use of it.

As a result, a new economic universe emerges. That’s why the vulgar populism is lurking. Radical changes are his food.

Written by Dimitrios Koumparoulis

Edited by Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: New-Orleans post Katrina 2007, Fairground, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, June 25, 2007 | © Courtesy of Gilbert Mercier/Flickr.

Cite this article as: Dimitrios Koumparoulis, "The Time of Postcapitalism," in Open Economics Blog, 14/11/2018, https://oeb.hypotheses.org/522.

New Article: Inter-Personal and Inter-Organizational Networks In Internationalization of SMEs: A Bibliometric Analysis and Review

New article published in Open Economics: Inter-Personal and Inter-Organizational Networks In Internationalization of SMEs: A Bibliometric Analysis and Review. Find out, what are the hot topics in current research on small and medium-sized enterprises.

Authors: Monika Bužavaitė, Renata Korsakienė

Published Online: September 6, 2018

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/openec-2018-0003

Industrial policy determines the industry’s orientation for growth, in line with the economic development stage. The main objective of this article is to establish the sustainability of the relationship between the development of forest resources, on the one hand, and their use in wood and furniture products in the Republic of Bulgaria, on the other hand. The main tasks are to find out the sustainability in the production of timber and products from it, to assess the tendency of development and needs of policy measures. The methods used include statistical methods for trend analysis, descriptive methods and others. Forestry is a clear example of the transformation of natural resources into consumer products, where sustainability in the development of society can easily be disturbed. Forestry policies should support the use of tree resources in products with the highest possible added value.

Keywords: networking; inter-personal networks; inter-organizational networks; entrepreneurs; SMEs

New Article: Sustainable Development and Forest-Based Industries: Main Considerations and Policy Measures. The Bulgarian Example

In article Sustainable Development and Forest-Based Industries: Main Considerations and Policy Measures. The Bulgarian Example authors seek the balance between sustaining forest resources and developing wood and furniture industry.

With climate changes being recognized as one of the most important factors nowadays (just to mention William Nordhaus and his research that led him to Nobel Prize this year), the analysis presented in the article is as up-to-date as it can be. 

Authors: Nikolay Neykov, Petar Antov and Viktor Savov

Published Online: September 6, 2018

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/openec-2018-0002

Industrial policy determines the industry’s orientation for growth, in line with the economic development stage. The main objective of this article is to establish the sustainability of the relationship between the development of forest resources, on the one hand, and their use in wood and furniture products in the Republic of Bulgaria, on the other hand. The main tasks are to find out the sustainability in the production of timber and products from it, to assess the tendency of development and needs of policy measures. The methods used include statistical methods for trend analysis, descriptive methods and others. Forestry is a clear example of the transformation of natural resources into consumer products, where sustainability in the development of society can easily be disturbed. Forestry policies should support the use of tree resources in products with the highest possible added value.

Keywords: Forest-based Industries; Sustainable Development; Bulgaria

All About Business and Management You’d Like to Know – new Topical Issue in Open Economics is Available Online

source: Free Images /Flickr

There is a new Topical Issue in Open Economics titled “Business and Management”. It’s Editor, Viktorija Skvarciany (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania), managed to gather exciting set of articles tackling up-to-date questions from various fields of business and management.

What makes this topical issue valuable is the opportunity for readers to look behind the scenes and see how businesses in various fields function in a volatile reality of the 21st century.

So far (October 2018) there are 5 articles available, but more are on their way – stay tuned and visit website of the journal to access all articles for free.

As Open Access Continues to Sparkle Media Debates, Its Progress Transforms Business Models and Leads to Partnerships

Though tensions between global journal publishers, such as Elsevier, flare up during their negotiations with academic libraries, the widening adoption of Open Access, such as in Switzerland, does not seem to be incompatible with journal publisher partnerships, as the prominence of Green Open Access indicates.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.

While media reviews of the journal publishing market by paywall-protected European newspapers, such as Les Echos in France, discern that large publishers tend to stand for scientific quality, confer distinction on their authors, especially from emerging economies, e.g., China, and experience double-digit growth in the number of submitted and published articles each year, this growth dynamics is not necessarily associated with the rising fees that journal publishers have to charge to cover their correspondingly rising costs, such as the input of editorial labor for the review of submitted papers.

Instead, journal subscription price increases are represented in the context of the journal access deals over which the national library consortia, such as Couperin, an association of 250 higher education and research institutions in France, seek to strike a bargain with international journal publishers. Especially, as Jean-Pierre Finance, the president of Couperin, is cited as saying that, whereas subscription deals provide libraries and their users with access to about 1,500 journal titles, even though access to only 400 periodicals is really needed, the implied suggestion is that the country-level subscription prices, such as 35 million Euros that French institutions are paying to Elsevier, are arguably overly high. Moreover, for some scholars, such as Cédric Villani from the French Henri-Poincaré institute, Open Access does not appear to provide a long-term solution to rising subscription fees, due to article processing charges, which can range from 600 Euros to 5,000 Euros, that it involves.

This makes nationally negotiated subscription agreements between large publishers and university libraries indispensable. On August 2, 2018, the Conference of Italian University Rectors has concluded with Elsevier a 5-year subscription deal. This agreement represents a partnership between the latter global publisher and more than 70 Italian institutions that provides unrestricted access to its journal databases between 2018 and 2022, while including Open Access options as part of it. In other words, subscription and Open Access models are not necessarily in conflict.

Additionally, countries that have topped European Open Access publication ratings, such as Switzerland that was recently found to publish 39% of its publications in Open Access, which amounts to 86,030 items, based on Scopus database information for the period between 2009 and 2016, have also been giving preference to Green Open Access that combines subscriptions to recently published articles with Open Access to journal archives. In Switzerland, 28.5% of Open Access papers are published in Green Open Access based on a combination of paywall models and institutional repositories, whereas only 10.6% have been published in Gold Open Access that provides immediate access to scholarly articles in this period.

As both national and regional science funders, such as the Swiss National Science Foundation and European Commission, have been making offsetting the costs of article processing charges for authors of publicly funded research results possible, hybrid or Green Open Access models may help combine journal quality with sustainable access fees.

By Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: Galerie Umberto I, Naples, Campania, Italy, August 16, 2006 | © Courtesy of loloieg/Flickr.

This post is based on an article that originally appeared in OpenScience, 15/08/2018, https://openscience.com/as-open-access-continues-to-sparkle-media-debates-its-progress-transforms-business-models-and-leads-to-partnerships/.

Some Open Access Journals Spark Controversy Due to Internal Problems but Also for Lack of Model Sustainability

As recent news on the HAU and Springer Machine Intelligence journal show, Open Access needs to be paired with sustainable publishing models to serve scholarly communities and deliver on its promise of unrestricted access to knowledge.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.

While interface barriers can contribute to the difficulties of scholars with accessing scientific articles and data, as proponents of technological solutions to that suggest, Open Access provides an alternative to subscription-based access only to the extent that it can be based on sustainable economic models that can support the operation of Open Access journals. Otherwise, accessing pre-prints or post-prints of accepted academic articles from repository servers can lead to the implosion of the business models that conventional, subscription-based or Open Access journals have.

This is illustrated by the economic implosion of HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory launched in 2011 without a business model that could ensure its long-term viability, as it sought to outsource its costs to external institutions, such as universities and libraries, in order to provide free access to its content. As the journal has been transitioned to a hybrid model involving both subscriptions and conditionally subsidized or free access, such as for scholars from the global South, controversy has erupted both due to the departure from Open Access principles and alleged editorial mismanagement.

Media coverage suggests that this flip into closed access that the journal HAU has accomplished was not due to the article processing charges (APCs) that its previous model involved but stemmed from growing operational expenses and resource misallocation. Yet financial misconduct and lacking accountability, inherently unrelated to the previous model of the journal, have also been likely to be the decisive factors behind the reorganization of this journal. However, the relative freedom that the Open Access model gives to journal management to set APC levels could also been part of the reason for which the apparently poor governance at the HAU journal has precipitated the switch to the hybrid, subscription-based model, which amounts to a freemium approach to journal publishing, in partnership with the University of Chicago Press. […]

At the same time, though scholarly communities increasingly vaunt Open Access as a revolutionary alternative to subscription-based models, as the calls for boycotting the subscription-based Nature Machine Intelligence journals show, the adoption of Open Access-based models in itself does not guarantee journal governance free of conflicts of interest and significant overall cost reductions, as operation expenses need to be sustainably covered, if Open Access journals are to continue to exist in the long term.

By Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: Bulgaria-0743 – Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, May 6, 2012 | © Courtesy of Dennis Jarvis/Flickr.

This post is based on an article that originally appeared in OpenScience, 23/06/2018, https://openscience.com/some-open-access-journals-spark-controversy-due-to-internal-problems-but-also-for-lack-of-model-sustainability/.

Though Journal Subscription Deal Cancellations Increase in Number, Open Access Solutions Remain Marginal

For many universities unbundling their journal subscription deals can yield significant cost reductions, which, however, can solidify the market shares of large publishers and slow the growth of the Open Access sector, especially as concerns Gold Open Access journals.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.

As university libraries scrutinize their yearly journal subscription deals, the unbundling of these agreements for the purpose of reducing the number of titles subscribed can provide significant subscription discounts for expenses that can exceed 1 million USD on a yearly basis for some institutions. While in North America circa 24 libraries have either unbundled or cancelled their subscription deals with large publishers, it remains to be seen whether academic and research institutions internationally will be following this lead, even though Sweden and France provide recent cancellation examples. Considering the overall size of the global academic publishing market, in 2016 and 2017 additional subscription deal cancellations continue to be in single digits in Canada and the United State, while totaling 5 and 7 institutions for the respective periods.

Moreover, as countries and institutions leverage their ability to use interlibrary loans for accessing paywall-protected publications, this may promote the subscription deal unbundling momentum, as library budgets become exhausted. In other words, university libraries show the signs of demand elasticity as they are increasingly not willing or able to pay any price for accessing subscription-based publications. At the same time, platforms for searching for or sharing academic articles, such as ResearchGate, may not necessarily amount to a shock to the publishing market, as not all publishers are likely to allow unbundling their subscription deals, international academic institutions are likely to be exposed to the risk of fluctuating currency valuations and hardball negotiations tactics do not always succeed. […]

While this growth dynamics in the Open Access sector has set the stage for recent subscription contract disputes or stand-offs, such as in Germany, it remains to be seen whether various countries will accomplish their planned transitions to Open Access as a default scientific publication option, especially as closed-access articles have accounted for over 75% of Scopus’ catalogue in 2016. While national, regional and global alliances, such as OA2020, are calling to the effectuate a transition to 100% of Open Access, library budget constraints may stymie these efforts and increase the share of unbundled subscription deals.

By Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: Openaire-COAR Conference 2014, Athens, Greece, May 21, 2014 | © Courtesy of cziwkga/Flickr.

This post is based on an article that originally appeared in OpenScience, 20/05/2018, http://openscience.com/though-journal-subscription-deal-cancellations-increase-in-number-open-access-solutions-remain-marginal/.

Post-Neo-Classical Perspectives on Economic Development: Emerging Global Cities and Varieties of Capitalism Theorization

This topical issue of Open Economics invites submissions that explore both qualitatively and quantitatively how various cities have developed into global hubs of economic activity both historically and contemporaneously. The theoretical and methodological focus of this issue is the application of comparative methods for the purpose of analyzing economic systems in terms that go beyond neo-classical assumptions of economic theory found in conventional macro and micro economics. This also connects to the scholarly discourse on the varieties of capitalism or modernity as a perspective expected to be instructive for considering the preconditions for and effects of the rise of global financial and economic centers, such as London, New York and Hong Kong historically and Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai more recently.

A Call for Papers by Pablo Markin.

Capitalism can be approached as an abstract system that has a structuring influence on economic, social and cultural forms in the modern period, as it creates complex relations and interdependencies between different geographical sites and regions (Athanassakis, 2008, p. 10). In this respect, the reconsideration of capitalism in relation to cities that epitomize it can help examine the geographic dimension of capitalism as a process of economic development that has historically been unevenly distributed (Davis, & Turpin, 2015, p. 9).

In other words, it can be argued that capitalism is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that introduces a historical rupture in economic, social, and cultural structures (Kiss, 2011, pp. xvii-xix). Capitalism represents a system of spatial relations self-referentially governing the functioning of economic, social and cultural activities (Flusser, 1992, pp. 9-10). Thus, it is possible to trace in spatial configurations the manner in which relations between the economic, social and cultural spheres have been formed (Hüppe, 2013, p. 9).

This approach follows Kracauer’s conception that the operation of capitalism can be diagnosed on the basis of various aspects of urban life, such as luxury in global cities (Kracauer, 1995, p. 285). From this perspective, capitalism belongs as much to the theory of ideas as much as it does to the history of modernity (Rohbeck, 2005, p. 187). Thus, it is possible to concur with Weber’s (1922) position that capitalism is both an economic and a social and cultural phenomenon that can take multiple historically and spatially specific forms, such as imperial capitalism (Whimster, 2015, p. 2). Therefore, this special issue of Open Economics will comparatively explore the role that modern capitalism has played in the transformation of spatial relations (Wallerstein, 1976, p. 273).

Accordingly, the development of capitalism can have alternative explanations, such as in relation to cities that have played key roles in its emergence in its modern form at different historical periods, as Sombart (1922) would argue (Grundmann, & Stehr, 2001, p. 257). While London epitomizes the transition to the imperial, industrial or colonial capitalism with the global expansion of the economic relations of the British empire, Paris, as a historical capital of fashion, consumption and culture, represents an alternative type of capitalist relations that demand a reconsideration of modernity (Benjamin, 1982, p. 479). In this respect, the rise of Asian mega-cities, such as Shanghai, can be treated as indicators of the ascendancy of the non-Western varieties of capitalism that demand theoretical and empirical investigation (Marcuse & Van, 2008).

Therefore, this topical issue of Open Economics will explore post-neo-classical perspectives on economic development in relation to emerging global cities, such as in Asia, and varieties of capitalism theorization. Thus, this special issue seeks to clarify the role that contemporary and historical world cities, such as Shanghai, London and Paris, have played in the emergence of different configurations of capitalism revolving around particular urban centers.


Athanassakis, I. (2008). Die Aktie als Bild: Zur Kulturgeschichte von Wertpapieren. Vienna: Springer-Verlag Vienna.

Benjamin, W. (1982). Gesammelte Schriften: V: Das Passagen-Werk. Scholem, G. G., Adorno, T. W., Tiedemann, R., & Schweppenhäuser, H. (Eds.). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

Davis, H. M., & Turpin, E. (2015). Art & Death: Lives Between the Fifth Assessment & the Sixth Extinction. In Davis, H. M., & Turpin, E. (Eds.). Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters among aesthetics, politics, environments and epistemologies, pp. 3-30. London: Open Humanities Press.

Flusser, V. (1992). Bodenlos: Eine philosophische Autobiographie. Bensheim: Bollmann.

Grundmann, R., & Stehr, N. (2001). Why is Werner Sombart not part of the core of classical sociology? From fame to (near) oblivion. Journal of Classical Sociology, 1(2), 257-287.

Hüppe, E. (2013). Urbanisierte Musik: Eine Studie über gesellschaftliche Determinanten musikalischer Raumproduktion und Raumaneignung. Münster: Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität.

Kiss, E. (2011). As (i)materialidades do consumo : um estudo sobre as estratégias discursivas da marca Apple na sociedade de consumo. São Paulo: Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing.

Kracauer, S. (1995). The mass ornament: Weimar essays. Levin, T. Y. (Trans.). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Marcuse, P., & Van, K. R. (2008). Globalizing Cities: A New Spatial Order? Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Rohbeck, J. (2005). Rehabilitating the Philosophy of History. In Koslowski, P. (Ed.). The Discovery of Historicity in German Idealism and Historism (pp. 187-211). Berlin, Heidelberg and New York: Springer.

Sombart, W. (1922). Luxus und Kapitalismus. München: Duncker & Humblot.

Wallerstein, I. (1976). From Feudalism to Capitalism: Transition or Transitions?. Social Forces, 55(2), 273-283.

Weber, M. (1922). Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr and P. Siebeck.

Whimster, S. (2015). The Weberian analysis of Chinese capitalism in the light of contemporary developments. Max Weber oggi: Ripensando politica e capitalismo conference proceedings, May 14-15, 2015. Florence, Italy: Università degli studi di Firenze.

Featured Image Credits: Shanghai, China, October 12, 2013 © Courtesy of maduarte/Flickr.

Open Access Can Help Scientific Societies Build Their Asset Portfolios, While Preserving Content Accessibility

While the social role of scientific societies continues being discussed, arrangements with publishers that outsource journal management may need Open Access to ensure continued service to scholarly communities, if journal titles change ownership.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.

As a recent blog article by Joseph Esposito, published on April 26, 2018, suggests, as scientific societies outsource the technical journal management functions, such as production, sales and marketing, to commercial publishers, the publishing market dynamics might push these societies toward the transfer of these journals’ ownership to publishers, to maximize financial returns. While the ownership of intellectual property by publishers is more common for books than journals, publishers are in a position to exploit the economies of scale that the publication infrastructures and services they own offer, scientific societies can be expected to lack this advantage. […]

As it prepares for an initial public offering at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Springer Nature is a significant case in point. Though the publisher has significant capitalization needs and debt obligations, through its merger activity, such as the acquisition of Macmillan Science and Education in 2015, in recent years this Berlin-based company has emerged as one of the world’s largest English-language scientific publishers also in the domain of Open Access. Similarly, Relx that owns Elsevier, a major international scientific publisher, and Informa that holds ownership of Taylor & Francis, another big scholarly publisher, are listed on the financial market.

In the absence of Open Access arrangements, publishers, such as Springer Nature owning over 3,000 scientific journals, may be loath to provide free access to their otherwise licenced intellectual property, such as journal articles, as part of ensuring the viability of their extant business models, e.g., journal subscriptions. Yet the Open Access journal publishing sector, in which Springer holds a 30% share and earns about 10% of its revenues, maintains high growth rates, despite the article processing charges it involves. The presence of scientific societies in the Open Access sector is likely slated to increase too.

By Pablo Markin

Featured Image Credits: Resource Center Support Services, Okinawa, Japan, November 27, 2014 © Courtesy of OIST/Flickr.

This post is based on an article that originally appeared in OpenScience, 28/04/2018, http://openscience.com/open-access-can-help-scientific-societies-build-their-asset-portfolios-while-preserving-content-accessibility/.

The Deferral of Attacks: SP/A Theory as a Model of Terrorist Choice when Losses Are Inevitable

Authors: Peter J. Phillips, Gabriela Pohl
Published Online: 2017-02-07

When a terrorist group’s aspirations far exceed the outcomes that can be expected to result from any of the available attack methods, an outcome below the terrorist group’s aspiration level is inevitable. A primary prediction of SP/A theory when applied to the study of terrorist behaviour is that when losses are inevitable the terrorist group will be risk averse and inclined to defer further action until expected outcomes improve, new attack method innovations are developed or the memory of the event that shaped aspirations has faded sufficiently that the aspiration level can be ‘reset’. This complements existing predictions of loss aversion and risk seeking behaviour over the domain of avoidable losses and provides a starting point for developing explanations for patterns of behaviour that are observed in the terrorism context, including pauses in violence, even during brutality contests, and time-lags between terrorist attacks.

Keywords: SP/A TheoryTerrorist BehaviourRiskUncertaintyInevitable LossesAspirationBrutalityViolenceContestsAttacksAvoidable Losses

Over 50% of Newly Published Paywall-Protected Research Fails to Be Consulted, which Makes Open Access Increasingly Attractive

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2018-01-28
URL: http://openscience.com/over-50-of-newly-published-paywall-protected-research-fails-to-be-consulted-which-makes-open-access-increasingly-attractive/

As Australia seeks to increase the efficiency of the investment it makes into scientific research, Open Access promises to maximize its benefits.


Given that subscription-based publication models not only tend to lock up access to articles and books behind paywalls, but also transfer copyright and intellectual property to large publishers as content distributors, governments are beginning to expect a larger return on their financial investment into academic research by switching to Open Access. While publishing at prestigious journals is critical for research careers and university rankings, a growing awareness exists that a significant share of fees paid for journal subscriptions goes to waste. Some studies argue that approximately 21% of all scientific articles published between 1900 and 2015 have never been cited. Moreover, in the year they are published, close to 80% of journal papers are not cited at all, whereas this statistic drops to approximately 10% fifteen years after article publication, according to findings based on papers indexed by the Web of Science in recent decades.

However, other studies indicate that almost 50% of academic articles ever published are not read by anyone beyond their authors, journal editors and peer-review participants. Moreover, some researchers suggest that up to 90% of academic papers are never cited at all. In other words, according to these findings, journal subscriptions may be making measurable contributions to the advancement of science, such as in the form of citations by other scholars, in about 5% of cases. Although the journal publishing market estimated to generate revenues to the tune of 10 billion USD has been growing at the annual rate of between 3% and 4%, the primary beneficiaries of this apparent growth in scientific productivity are likely to be large traditional publishers, such as Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell and Springer Nature, demonstrating stellar financial performance, such as profit margins upwards of 30%, in recent decades.

By Pablo Markin

The full-length original blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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The Mega-Journal Market Grows, as Traditional Journals Lose Ground and Emerging Areas Launch Open Access Titles

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2018-01-23
URL: http://openscience.com/the-mega-journal-market-grows-as-traditional-journals-lose-ground-and-emerging-areas-launch-open-access-titles/

As University College London mulls publishing its own mega-journal, it is expected to join the bustling marketplace of Open Access journals. This can be due to the community-building effects of Open Access journals that become increasingly prized, whereas traditional journals see their hold on scholarly communities weaken. While support infrastructure in the Open Access sector continues to develop, cutting-edge research fields call to life specialized Open Access outlets.


The Open Access market in the United Kingdom (UK) marks a milestone as august University College London (UCL), originally founded in 1826, has announced its planned launch of an Open Access mega-journal, to compete with PLOS One and Scientific Reports. This effort also seeks to emulate the success of Collabra, a mega-journal operated by the University of California Press. Rather than being scholarly periodicals narrowly conceived, mega-journals act as broad platforms for publishing scientific output. Though their peer-review practices may be questioned, Open Access journals increasingly gain a positive word of mouth in the academic community, due to their streamlined publication procedures, experimental peer review models and unrestricted accessibility.

As large foundations throw their weight behind Open Access publishing platforms, the role of mega-journals as anchors for diverse scientific communities is also increasingly recognized, especially given the frequently interdisciplinary nature of cutting-edge research. This, however, takes place on the background of the growing saturation and competition in the mega-journal market, as new market entrants drive the article output of incumbent Open Access mega-scale publication venues, such as PLOS One, downward. Nevertheless, Open Access journals in highly specialized sub-fields of research, such as npj Digital Medicine jointly launched by the Scripps Translational Science Institute and Springer Nature, continue to make their entry into the scholarly publishing market, as large publishers continue to add Open Access titles to their journal portfolios to make them stand out globally.

By Pablo Markin

The full-length original blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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A Companion Blog for Open Economics, a Peer-Reviewed Open Access Journal.