This course introduces economic concepts that are fundamental to understanding many of the issues faced by business firms. These include the economic perspective on the nature, scale, and organization of the firm; the role of information and transactions costs in internal and external markets; principal-agent theory; contracting and the firm's relationships with customers and suppliers. (4 credits)
Bob Wayland has been a business economist and consultant for more than 30 years. After serving in the United States Air Force, Wayland attended The Ohio State University and received BSBA and MA degrees in economics. His interest in the economics of business grew out of his first post-graduate job as chief economist at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. This job coincided with the oil embargo and natural gas supply disruptions of the early 1970s and gave him an appreciation for how previously robust systems could become quickly dysfunctional when hit by unanticipated shocks. His work in asset and yield management led to writing (with Paul Cole) Customer Connections: New Strategies for Growth, an early application of yield management concepts to customer relationships. Currently affiliated with HawkPartners, LLC, a Cambridge-based marketing firm, Wayland lives with his wife and three children in Concord.