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The Division of Labor Within Firms

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  • Lindbeck, Assar

    ()
    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

Abstract

The paper examines the determinants of the division of labor within firms. It provides an explanation of the pervasive change in work organization away from the traditional functional departments and towards multi-tasking and job rotation. Whereas the existing literature on the division of labor within firms emphasizes the returns from specialization and the need for coordination of the work of different workers, the present analysis focuses on the returns from multi-tasking, which is shown to arise from informational and technological complementarities among tasks as well as from the exploitation of the versatility of human capital.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies in its series Seminar Papers with number 628.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: 30 Oct 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0628

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Postal: Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-162000
Fax: +46-8-161443
Web page: http://www.iies.su.se/
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Related research

Keywords: Division of labor; specialization; multi-tasking; organization of work; technological change; information flows;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. George J. Stigler, 1951. "The Division of Labor is Limited by the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 185.
  3. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 2004. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9599, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Becker, G.S. & Murphy, K.M., 1991. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 92-5, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  5. Kim, Sunwoong, 1989. "Labor Specialization and the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 692-705, June.
  6. Baumgardner, James R, 1988. "The Division of Labor, Local Markets, and Worker Organization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 509-27, June.
  7. Yang, Xiaokai & Borland, Jeff, 1991. "A Microeconomic Mechanism for Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 460-82, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Snower, Dennis J., 1999. "Inequality of Earnings," CEPR Discussion Papers 2321, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Snower, Dennis J., 1999. "Causes of Changing Earnings Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 29, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Berthold, Norbert & Fehn, Rainer, 1999. "Aggressive Lohnpolitik, überschießende Kapitalintensität und steigende Arbeitslosigkeit: können Investivlöhne für Abhilfe sorgen?," Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Beiträge 28, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insbes. Wirtschaftsordnung und Sozialpolitik.
  4. Norbert Berthold & Rainer Fehn, 2003. "Unemployment in Germany: Reasons and Remedies," CESifo Working Paper Series 871, CESifo Group Munich.

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  1. Industrial Sociology (FCT-UNL)

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