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1.1 Introduction

Social science often places emphasis on the instrumental aspect of enterprises. Since they are instruments, their public nature matters and they are often considered to be cross-culturally functional. Yet actual enterprises do not always function similarly. Even if the same system is employed, variations will occur in operation and actions taken by members in the system.

We often think that the system is controlled by technologies and produces similar efficiencies. It is noteworthy that necessary technologies are not the same, either. Technology is chosen through path-dependent processes. For example, gasoline engines were not an imperative option for automobiles. Steam engine vehicles could have become dominant instead or direct current could have been chosen for power generation and transmission instead of alternating current. In the competition between Edison and Westinghouse for the method used, alternating current was employed because of significant attenuation of direct current during transmission. If the direct current method recommended by Edison had been chosen, electric power systems would have been divided into those for industrial and residential use. For residential use, small-capacity power generation systems including wind and solar power generators would have been employed, while the proper capacity of power plants for industrial use would have been built for each factory. If direct current was employed, nuclear power plants would not have come to mind. It is difficult to determine based on present standards which system would have contributed more to the efficiency of the entire society.

Today's enterprises take over systems and technologies from the industrial revolution in Europe. They do not function as they did when they were first established; they have been modified and used by societies as the situation dictates. The anthropology of business administration analyzes outside-the-box business administrations deemed to be institutionally similar.

 
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