Disobedience and Authority
AbstractThis article presents a theory of the allocation of authority in an organization in which centralization is limited by the agent's ability to disobey the principal. We extend the concept of real authority by observing that not only does the principal have to be informed to give an order but also the worker must be willing to follow the order. We show that workers are given more authority when they are costly to replace or do not mind looking for another job, even if they have no better information than the principal. The allocation of authority thus depends on external market conditions as well as the information and agency problems emphasized in the literature. We explore the implications of this insight for hiring policies and managerial styles. The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Oxford University Press.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.
Volume (Year): 26 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://jleo.oupjournals.org/
Other versions of this item:
- J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
- M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Acemoglu, D. & Newman, A.F., 1997.
"The Labor Market and Corporate Structure,"
97-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Van den Steen, Eric, 2007. "The Limits of Authority: Motivation versus Coordination," Working papers 37305, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Marino, Anthony M., 2006. "Delegation versus an approval process and the demand for talent," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 487-503, May.
- Dessein, Wouter, 2002.
"Authority and Communication in Organizations,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 811-38, October.
- Wouter Dessein, 2000. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1747, Econometric Society.
- Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1999. "Informal Authority in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 56-73, April.
- Davis, Steven J. & Haltiwanger, John, 1999. "Gross job flows," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2711-2805 Elsevier.
- Gilligan, Thomas W & Krehbiel, Keith, 1987. "Collective Decisionmaking and Standing Committees: An Informational Rationale for Restrictive Amendment Procedures," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 287-335, Fall.
- Edward P. Lazear, 1991. "Labor Economics and the Psychology of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 89-110, Spring.
- Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
- Dial, Jay & Murphy, Kevin J., 1995. "Incentives, downsizing, and value creation at General Dynamics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 261-314, March.
- Herbert A. Simon, 1991. "Organizations and Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 25-44, Spring.
- Alonso, Ricardo & Matouschek, Niko, 2005.
CEPR Discussion Papers
5289, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Augustin Landier & David Sraer & David Thesmar, 2009. "Optimal Dissent in Organizations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 761-794.
- Jan Zabojnik, 2002. "Centralized and Decentralized Decision Making in Organizations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 1-22, January.
- Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994.
"Normal and Real Authority in Organizations,"
94-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Scholarly Articles 4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Anthony M. Marino & John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Decision Processes, Agency Problems, and Information: An Economic Analysis of Capital Budgeting Procedures," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 301-325.
- Canice Prendergast, 2002. "The Tenuous Trade-off between Risk and Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1071-1102, October.
- Robert S. Gibbons, 2010.
"Inside Organizations: Pricing, Politics, and Path Dependence,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
661465000000000249, David K. Levine.
- Robert Gibbons, 2010. "Inside Organizations: Pricing, Politics, and Path Dependence," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 337-365, 09.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.