Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Authority in the Context of Distributed Knowledge

Contents:

Author Info

  • Kirsten Foss
  • Nicolai J. Foss

Abstract

The notion of distributed knowledge is increasingly often invoked in discussions of economic organization. In particular, the claim that authority is inefficient as a means of coordination in the context of distributed knowledge has become widespread. However, very little analysis has been dedicated to the relation between economic organization and distributed knowledge. In this paper, we concentrate on the role of authority as a coordination mechanism under conditions of distributed knowledge, and also briefly discuss other issues of economic organization. We clarify the meanings of authority and distributed knowledge, and criticize the above claim by arguing that authority may be a superior mechanism of coordination under distributed knowledge. We also discuss how distributed knowledge influences the boundaries of firms. Our arguments rely on insights in problem-solving and on ideas from organizational economics.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www3.druid.dk/wp/20030008.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies in its series DRUID Working Papers with number 03-08.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:03-08

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.druid.dk/

Related research

Keywords: Distributed knowledge; existence of authority; problem-solving; the boundaries of the firm;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
  2. Mark Casson, 1994. "Why are Firms Hierarchical?," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 47-76.
  3. Anna Grandori, 1997. "Governance Structures, Coordination Mechanisms and Cognitive Models," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 29-47, March.
  4. Minkler, Alanson P., 1993. "Knowledge and internal organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 17-30, May.
  5. J.N. Larsen, 2001. "Knowledge, Human Resources and Social Practice: The Knowledge-Intensive Business Service Firm as a Distributed Knowledge System," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 81-102, January.
  6. Jason Potts, 2001. "Knowledge and markets," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 413-431.
  7. Michael C. Jensen & William H. Heckling, 1995. "Specific And General Knowledge, And Organizational Structure," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 8(2), pages 4-18.
  8. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1994. "The changing technology of technological change: general and abstract knowledge and the division of innovative labour," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 523-532, September.
  9. Nicolai J. Foss, . ""Coase vs Hayek": Economic Organization in the Knowledge Economy," IVS/CBS Working Papers 2001-6, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy, Copenhagen Business School.
  10. Nicolai J. Foss, 1999. "The Use of Knowledge in Firms," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(3), pages 458-, September.
  11. HOLMSTROM, Bengt, . "Moral hazard and observability," CORE Discussion Papers RP -379, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Bolton, Patrick & Farrell, Joseph, 1990. "Decentralization, Duplication, and Delay," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 803-26, August.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Wang, Q. & von Tunzelmann, N., 2000. "Complexity and the functions of the firm: breadth and depth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7-8), pages 805-818, August.
  16. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
  17. Joseph M. Ostroy & Louis Makowski, 2001. "Perfect Competition and the Creativity of the Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 479-535, June.
  18. Richardson, G B, 1972. "The Organisation of Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 883-96, September.
  19. Herbert A. Simon, 1991. "Organizations and Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 25-44, Spring.
  20. Staudenmayer, Nancy A. (Nancy Ann) & Cusumano, Michael A., 1954-, 1998. "Alternative designs for product component integration," Working papers WP 4016-98., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  21. Margit Osterloh & Bruno S. Frey, . "Motivation, Knowledge Transfer, and Organizational Form," IEW - Working Papers 027, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. K. Foss & Nicolai Foss, 2006. "The limits to designed orders: Authority under “distributed knowledge” conditions," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 261-274, December.
  2. Fiorenza Belussi & Luciano Pilotti & Silvia Rita Sedita, 2006. "Learning at the boundaries for industrial districts between exploitation of local resources and exploration of global knowledge flows," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0033, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  3. Fiorenza BELUSSI & Luciano PILOTTI & Silvia Rita SEDITA, 2006. "Learning at the boundaries for industrial districts between exploitation of local resources and the exploration of global knowledge flows," Departmental Working Papers 2006-40, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:03-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keld Laursen).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.