Agency Costs and Innovation
AbstractStylized facts indicate that small firms are responsible for a disproportionate share of innovative research. There are many possible explanations for this facto The paper seeks to understand this phenomena as the outcome of an optimal assignment of tasks across individuals and organizations. It is shown that incentive costs associated with a given task depend on the total portfolio of tasks that an individual or an organization undertakes. Mixing, hard to measure activities (innovation) with easy to measure activities (routine) is particularly costly, since it will either lead to misallocation of attention across tasks or to misallocation of risk. Larger firms are at a comparative disadvantage in conducting highly innovative research, because of the costs associated with managing a heterogeneous set of tasks. It is further argued that optimal organizational responses to coordination and control of routine tasks will lead to bureaucratization within the firm and to financial constraints imposed by capital markets, both of which are hostile to innovation.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 214.
Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1989
Date of revision:
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Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
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Innovation; agency costs; efficient allocation; routine;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
- O32 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
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