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Task assignment and organizational form

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Author Info

  • Kerstin Puschke

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Abstract

This paper shows that a firm prefers a process-based task assignment compared to a function based one if the tasks are from functional areas which are neither too complementary nor too substitutable. We consider several projects with contributions from several functional areas. The organization can be structured along processes like product lines (M-form) or along functional areas like marketing or production (U-form). The U-form enables cost savings due to specialization or scale economies. We show that the more effective incentives under the M-form might outweigh these savings if the functions are neither too complementary nor too substitutable.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00712-008-0033-z
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 149-168

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jeczfn:v:96:y:2009:i:2:p:149-168

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=108909

Related research

Keywords: Task assignment; Organizational form; Incomplete contracts; D02; L23;

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References

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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Eric Maskin & Yingyi Qian & Chenggang Xu, 1997. "Incentives, Information, and Organizational Form," Working Papers 97034, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  3. Wouter Dessein & Luis Garicano & Robert Gertner, 2010. "Organizing for Synergies," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 77-114, November.
  4. Eyal Winter, 2003. "Incentives and Discrimination," Discussion Paper Series dp313, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1995. "Some implications of growth for organizational form and ownership structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 440-455, April.
  6. Yingyi Qian & Gerard Roland & Chenggang Xu, 2006. "Coordination and Experimentation in M-Form and U-Form Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 366-402, April.
  7. Alfred D. Chandler, 1969. "Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262530090, December.
  8. Besanko, David & Régibeau, Pierre & Rockett, Katharine, 2000. "A Multi-Task Principal-Agent Approach to Organizational Form," CEPR Discussion Papers 2443, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
  10. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  11. Holmstrom, Bengt R. & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "The theory of the firm," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-133 Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Te Bao & Yongqin Wang, 2012. "Incomplete contract, bargaining and optimal divisional structure," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 81-96, September.
  2. Koulovatianos, Christos & Schröder, Carsten & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2009. "Nonmarket household time and the cost of children," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 28906, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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