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Codes in Organizations

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Author Info

  • Crémer, Jacques
  • Garicano, Luis
  • Prat, Andrea

Abstract

A code is a technical language that members of an organization learn in order to communicate among themselves and with members of other organizations. What are the features of an optimal code and how does it interact with the characteristics of the organization? This Paper develops a simple communication model and characterizes optimal codes. There exists a fundamental trade-off between choosing a specialized code that simplifies internal communication and a common code that facilitates external communication. We identify the drivers of this trade-off and we study the strategic aspects of code adoption. The results are used to interpret some existing organizational structures.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4205.

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Date of creation: Jan 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4205

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Keywords: coding; communication cost; organization theory;

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References

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  1. Caroli, Eve & Van Reenen, John, 1999. "Skill biased organizational change? Evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9917, CEPREMAP.
  2. Wernerfelt, Birger, 2003. "Organizational Languages," Working papers 4278-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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  4. Duncan Simester & Marc Knez, 2002. "Direct and Indirect Bargaining Costs and the Scope of the Firm," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(2), pages 283-304, April.
  5. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1383-1435, November.
  6. Raghuram G. Rajan & Julie Wulf, 2006. "The Flattening Firm: Evidence from Panel Data on the Changing Nature of Corporate Hierarchies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 759-773, November.
  7. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2002. "Rigidity, Discretion, and the Costs of Writing Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 798-817, September.
  8. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
  9. Jacques Cremer, 1980. "A Partial Theory of the Optimal Organization of a Bureaucracy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 683-693, Autumn.
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  11. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gomes, Orlando, 2008. "Interaction in organizations: A dynamic choice of codes," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1570-1583, August.
  2. Luis Garicano & Rosa M. Lastra, 2010. "Towards a New Architecture for Financial Stability: Seven Principles," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 597-621, September.
  3. Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa & Vives, Xavier, 2006. "Why and where do headquarters move?," IESE Research Papers D/650, IESE Business School.
  4. Garicano, Luis & Posner, Richard A., 2005. "Intelligence Failures: An Organizational Economics Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 5186, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Garicano, Luis & Prat, Andrea, 2011. "Organizational Economics with Cognitive Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 8372, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Modes of communication," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9631, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Gavilan, Angel, 2012. "Wage inequality, segregation by skill and the price of capital in an assignment model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 116-137.
  8. Ángel Gavilán, 2006. "Wage inequality, segregation by skill and the price of capital in an assignment model," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0613, Banco de Espa�a.

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