Non-rival goods and law department management

What law department managers call knowledge, economists call non-rival goods. As explained in David Warsh, Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations: A Story of Economic Discovery (Norton 2006 at xvii), economists also refer to ideas and concepts as “nonconvexities.”

Non-rival goods can be employed simultaneously by any number of law departments. Rival goods can be consumed by only one person or department at a time. A law department expert on anti-trust is a rival good, available only to that law department; a law department that understands competitive bidding possesses a non-rival good, in that such knowledge can be employed by many departments simultaneously. A core competency ought to be a non-rival good.

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