Alternative Theories to Profit Maximization

1839 Words Jul 17th, 2006 8 Pages
Alternative theories to profit maximization ranging from perfect competition to strict monopolies.

Companies and The Market

Most companies are profit oriented. Companies survive and live on profit. Even governmental institutions, NGO's and NPO's are profit oriented, what they do with profit is different though. Saying this means that companies seek always to be at a position where profit is maximized. As we know by now this happens when MC=MR but this is an always changing point as supply and demand are dynamic, effectively meaning that if firms get it right once they can't just do the same eternally, they still need to adapt to every market factor as a new change is a new reality all together that needs to be studied and addressed. All
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One step away from perfect competition is monopolistic competition. This type of market structure has a number of different characteristics from the above. Which turn it into one of the most used market structures. In this scenario, companies are not all price takers and start making use of economies of scale in order to improve efficiency, reduce costs and increase profits. In the scenario companies sell a differentiated product at different prices. Like in perfect competition no barriers are put to entry and newcomers a constant threat to the market keeping every player always in search for a better mean to produce and compete.

An oligopoly, is when there are only a few number of companies that control a specific market. The barriers to entry can be both legal/political (ie. number of licenses awarded to cell phone operators) to the fact that the companies themselves create a "cartel like" attitude effectively brushing of the market new entrants through aggressive measures like undercutting pricing on new smaller entrants, controlling inputs for production, etc.

On the other end of the market structures are monopolies. Monopolies are generally quite inefficient in the sense that consumers don't have a choice in terms of what to consume and generally speaking don't offer good value for money as the company dictates the price of the good irrespective of cost (as we