A Multi-Task Principal-Agent Approach to Organizational Form
AbstractThis paper studies the choice of organizational forms in a multi-task principal-agent model. We compare a functional organization in which the firm is organized into functional departments such as marketing and R&D to a product-based organization in which the firm is organized into product lines. Managers' compensation can be based on noisy measures of product-line profits. Measures of a functional area's contribution to total profits are not available, however. This effect favours the product organization. However, if there are significant asymmetries between functional area contributions to organizational success and cross-product externalities within functions, organizing along functional lines may dominate the product organization. We also consider the effects of diseconomies of span of control and cross-functional complementarities. Diseconomies of span of control sometimes favours the product organization and sometimes favour the functional organization. Cross-functional complementaries tend to make the product organization relatively more profitable.
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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2443.
Date of creation: May 2000
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
- L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
- L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
- L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
- M20 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Business Economics - - - General
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.:
- Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987.
"Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives,"
Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
- Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
- Burton, Richard M. & Obel, Borge, 1988. "Opportunism, incentives, and the m-form hypothesis : A laboratory study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 99-119, July.
- Itoh, Hideshi, 1992. "Cooperation in Hierarchical Organizations: An Incentive Perspective," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 321-45, April.
- 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.
- Arijit Mukherjee & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011.
"Optimal job design in the presence of implicit contracts,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
RAND Corporation, vol. 42(1), pages 44-69, 03.
- Vasconcelos, Luis & Mukherjee, Arijit, 2010. "Optimal Job Design In The Presence Of Implicit Contracts," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp551, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
- Kerstin Puschke, .
"Task Assignment and Organizational Form,"
033, Departmental Working Papers.
- Laurent Franckx & F.P. de Vries, 2004. "Environmental Liability and Organizational Structure," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0401, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.