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文/DoNews社区作者 郝亚洲

我们为什么要聚集到一起组成一个公司?

这是一个本源性问题,也是解释一切商业现象的基本线。所以,回答这个问题还是要回到科斯定律上。科斯认为,公司的作用是为了降低组织内的交易成本,从而获取资源。那么,人们为什么要聚到一起做事情呢?德鲁克认为是为了创造市场。

基于这个理论前提,我们来看新近在美国红火的社交战略顾问Nilofer Merchant 的一个观点:规模会让企业溺水而死。9月中旬刚刚在《纽约时报》发表《传统战略死亡》的Nilofer Merchant 是一位社会化战略的鼓吹者,她在不久前接受哈佛商学院视频专访的时候,还在呼吁,公司们赶紧多了解些“社会化”吧。

以美洲银行的大规模裁员为例,Merchant认为这都是“规模”惹的祸。因为这些超级银行机构必须要为忽视小众市场付出惨重的代价。事情缘起一个叫Square的小公司。这家专注于小额贷款客户的移动支付公司,用一个小小的读卡器就让美洲银行们感到压力倍增,而这个小众市场,正是当年被超级机构所嗤之以鼻的。

从工业革命一直到互联网的早期阶段,规模产生效益是一个看似亘古的铁律。汽车业,电器业都是很好的例证。按照前文所说,为了开创市场人们聚到一起来获取资源,随着市场的不断扩张,前来聚集的人们也会越多。这是规模产生的前提,也因此衍生出了“规模化”这个经济学名词。

如果说此前,规模是规模化的核心的话,其根本在于为了满足降低人际沟通成本的需求,那么,在社交工具崛起的今天,规模化的本质显然发生了改变。点对点的沟通,甚至是金融工具,不但打破了组织规模的铁律,还重塑了规模化的定义。

企业的传统战略思维是,先考察这块市场有多大。开辟市场,意味着组织规模的扩张,所以他们需要考量成本。放弃小的市场,甚至中等规模的市场,对于他们来说不算什么。Square们的成功却让美洲银行大跌眼镜,因为他们发现,在这家小公司的辛勤耕耘下,这是一块纵度很深,且宽度也不算窄的市场。

Nilofer Merchant认为,到了需要重新定义“规模化”的时候了,否则不知道会有多少超级机构死去,不得而知。

去年,有一本很有名的书,还有一部同名电影风靡全球,叫做《大而不倒》。如果你不看内容,只看书名的话,很可能被忽悠住:越大越安全。其实不然。如果了解了伯南克在金融危机期间如坐针毡的状态的话,如果了解了英国人是如何摆了美国人一道的话,就会知道“大而不倒”是个反向表达:企业越大,政企关系越复杂

如果单纯从商业来说,大而必倒才是真相。

关于组织规模的突变,我在2009年的时候和胡泳有一段访谈,已经谈到了与Merchant类似的观点。摘录一小段,如下:

郝亚洲:美国《连线》杂志最近集中了几位互联网领域里的资深撰稿人,提出了很前卫也很新锐的“新新经济”一说。主要是基于平台时代里,高度分权化、自组织力量兴起的大前提。如果说新经济是信息时代的产物的话,新新经济无疑在从根本上瓦解现代社会赖以存在的根基,就是信息源的多元化和不可控制化。

谈及这一点对商业的影响,我们已经看到,通用这样的钱德勒笔下的传统工业组织范式倒下去了,而更加强调开放、灵活的丰田日益壮大。无论是波音的开放式创新,还是苹果的平台手机,都在用我们意想不到的组织方式生存。组织在产销一体的时代究竟将会有怎样的变化?

胡泳:组织要面临的一个很大的问题,就是边界正在呈现流动性的特征。另一个问题是组织赖以生存的理由正在遭到质疑,也就是该如何定义这个机构。组织的核心是科斯定律。科斯认为人们在一起是要做事情的,而做事情的前提是获取资源。这个过程中始终存在交易成本。科斯发现,组织结构的存在可以降低交易成 本,这一发现是基于“稀缺”而言的。

互联网出现后,某种意义上来讲“稀缺时代”基本上结束了。交易成本虽然没有完全消除,但是可以看到,相比传统工业时代而言,已经大大降低了,尤其是信息获取的成本。以往将企业和社会分离的组织围墙没那么坚固了。也就是说,将人们圈在一个组织里做事情的方式正在遭到挑战,因为这么做产生的交易成本可能会远大于社会生产的成本。

因此,科斯定律对组织的合法性的解释似乎站不住脚了。企业要想存在的话,必须不停地追问为什么。

郝亚洲:能追问出来吗?

胡泳:德鲁克很早就解答了,他认为企业的存在是为了创造市场。但我们必须看到以往创造市场的方式是否还适用。比如大英百科和维基百科的对抗可能是个 小例子。大的例子比如说Linux操作系统与Windows操作系统的对抗。

微软的做法是招揽世界上最优秀的人才为自己所用。这些人不用倾听市场的声音,不用关心公司战略。产品的开发早已经过了缜密的研究和分析,工程师做的 就是把它们生产出来。

Linux则相反,它有一个很大的人才池,每个人可以根据自己的判断来完善这个操作系统。微软对此不屑一顾,认为Linux的人才池和自己的没什么区别,因为并不是池子里的每一个人的智慧都能构成产品的核心。也就是说,真正的精华还是由当初的几个核心来完成的,而微软所做的只不过是把核心直接筛选了出来,这也符合2/8定律。

微软的说法其实是有道理的,但它忽略了一个事实:当核心的边界是开放的时候,就等于是一个流动着的状态,去不断地跟外界交换。这样,组织整个的生产也就是一个开放的状态。

微软代表的生产模式是“福特式”,开发产品前需要模具,当发现产品和市场不对路的时候就要把模具毁掉,重新设计、生产。和开放的生产相比,微软掉头的能力较差。

Linux代表的是新型生产模式,也可以叫“后福特式”,是一种零头生产。

虽然我并不认为微软会因此消亡,但它必须在某些方面作出改变,否则就会成为问题。未来,非企业组织和企业组织的融合度会越来越高。

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