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

Delegation in Multi-Establishment Firms: The Organizational Structure of I.T. Purchasing Authority

Contents:

Author Info

  • Kristina Steffenson McElheran
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    A rare large-scale empirical study of delegation within firms, this paper investigates how decision rights over information technology investments are allocated within multi-establishment firms. The core results indicate that a relatively high contribution to firm sales is highly correlated with authority being delegated to the local establishment. Firm-wide operational complexity and local information advantages are also associated with local discretion for IT purchases. Certain IT investments are also positively correlated with delegation. On the other hand, significant operational interdependencies evince a positive correlation with centralization, as do productive similarities among establishments. Surprisingly, absolute size of the firm and having a large IT budget are also correlated with centralized IT decision-making. With the exception of these latter effects, the results are consistent with models of organizational design that predict delegation where there is great demand for locally adapted choices and centralization where firm-wide coordination is most important. The findings document and make sense of widespread heterogeneity in decision rights across a range of firm and industry settings – even among establishments belonging to the same parent firm. Finally, they suggest important considerations for future empirical and theoretical research into the determinants of delegation.

    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: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2010/CES-WP-10-35.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2010
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 10-35.

    as in new window
    Length: 51 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:10-35

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233
    Phone: (301) 763-6460
    Fax: (301) 763-5935
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.census.gov/ces
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    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. Van Zandt, Timothy, 1999. "Real-Time Decentralized Information Processing as a Model of Organizations with Boundedly Rational Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 633-58, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    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:cen:wpaper:10-35. 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: (Fariha Kamal).

    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.