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Task Assignment and Organizational Form

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  • Kerstin Puschke

    ()
    (Free University of Berlin, Department of Economics)

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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Paper provided by Departmental Working Papers in its series Papers with number 033.

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Handle: RePEc:bef:lsbest:033

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  1. Eric Maskin & Yingyi Qian & Chenggang Xu, 1999. "Incentives, Information, and Organizational Form," Working Papers 99009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  2. Wouter Dessein & Luis Garicano & Robert Gertner, 2010. "Organizing for Synergies," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 77-114, November.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Eyal Winter, 2003. "Incentives and Discrimination," Discussion Paper Series dp313, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  10. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
  11. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Christos Koulovatianos & Carsten Schröder & Ulrich Schmidt, 2006. "Non-Market Household Time and the cost of Children," Vienna Economics Papers 0606, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  2. Te Bao & Yongqin Wang, 2012. "Incomplete contract, bargaining and optimal divisional structure," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 81-96, September.

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