This text deals with some of the most fundamental issues of transaction cost economics. It focuses on the analysis of the internal nature and characteristics of organizations and of the subtle interactions between institutional environment and governance structures over time. The book investigates the nature of contractual arrangements involved in large organizations, the "configurations" of corporations, the modes of governance implemented, and the respective role of different constitiuencies. The second series of problems addressed in the book concerns the interaction between the institutional environment and governance structures over time, with special emphasis on the Russian privatization programme and the narcotic markets. These twin analyses substantiate the distinction between private and pubic ordering. The book is strongly oriented towards increasing the operationalization of the concepts of transaction cost economics.