Coordination, economic order

When individual economic units no longer act autonomously but take on specialised tasks within the framework of a division of labour, coordination of these actors is required. For example, it must be clarified who produces what and how in what quantity and quality, and how the goods produced are to be distributed (the economic order of a country is derived from the answers to these questions). Coordination can be achieved by central decisions, as was the case with centralised economies. An alternative is decentralised coordination in more or less strongly regulated markets in market economies. There the actors themselves decide whether they want to offer or demand certain goods. In addition to markets, coordination can also take place through hierarchical instructions (for example, in companies and generally in permanent employment) or within the framework of networks in which people help each other. The means of coordination can include money, prices, contracts, sanctions, values, rules or power (see Hedtke 2008). An important criterion with regard to the appropriate form of coordination is transaction costs, which should be minimised as far as possible.