Information is now the critical factor of production: firms need to be able to sense the need for change and response before their competitors do.Use of market principles within a firm can help it learn and adapt. The days are numbered when rigid 'Taylorist scientific management' principles cold usefully be applied. Markets now demand more variety and quality. Companies are decentralising to cope with the uncertainty and pace of change of markets. 'Looser-coupled' firms, however, run the risk of anarchy. Means of maintaining the 'coherence and strategic direction of the firms are required. Economists from Ronald Coase onwards have been interested in why firms exist. Viewing the firms as a 'nexus of contracts' focuses attention on the similarities between resource allocation in markets and in firms. Some companies have applied market principles '... to unlock the problems of management'. Koch Industries Inc in Kansas has been particularly successful. Its success appears to have been achieved by an integrated system of mission statements, decentralised management (profit centres and cross-functional teams), and definition of property rights within the firm so as to provide appropriate incentives. 'Command-and-control' method are as inappropriate within a firm as they have proved to be outside it. Firms need to harness the ability of markets to 'flex and change, assimilating and processing information speedily and accurately, attributes that are essential to the learning association.' The 'command firm' is '... subject to all the disincentives of planned economies, including the hiding of resources, aggravated shortages, the over- or under-use of inputs and the resulting inefficiencies of production'. Market economies have been effective in '... encouraging, learning, adaptation and innovation'. The challenge is to '... design firms that can mimic these attributes of the market economy'. In this insightful new book Tyler Cowen and David Parker argue that a number of companies are suffering because many of them are still using 'command and control' management methods which are out of place in today's world. They argue that if firms wish to prosper they need to promote individual discovery, innovation and productivity within their own ranks.