Demand, Supply and Coordination: An Integrated Theory of the Division of Labor
AbstractProduct demand, supply and internal coordination are all explicitly specified in a model to study how they jointly determine the division of labor (job span). A larger job span means fewer workers are used to cover a production process, which is helpful in coordination and product quality, but not in lowering training cost. Although coordination is at the core, the model shows that, in general, job span is affected by all demand and supply factors. With marginal labor productivity declining, job span is narrower when the market is larger, as Adam Smith believed. It is narrower when coordination technology is better or wage is lower. It is likely narrower when unit training cost or productivity is higher. The results are reversed if labor has increasing marginal productivity. These results are either new or shed new light on previous theories of specialization. They have plausible empirical implications. They show the importance of an integrated approach to the study of job design.
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 Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus) in its series Working Papers with number 0405.
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 3-300 Carlson School of Management, 321 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0438
Phone: (612) 624-2500
Fax: (612) 624-8360
Web page: http://www.chrls.csom.umn.edu/
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-03-13 (All new papers)
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.:
- Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1996.
"Why do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1460, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Acemoglu, D. & Pischki, J.S., 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," Working papers 96-7, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ben-Ner Avner & Montias John Michael & Neuberger Egon, 1993.
"Basic Issues in Organizations: A Comparative Perspective,"
Journal of Comparative Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 207-242, June.
- Ben-Ner, A. & Montias, J.M. & Neuberger, E., 1993. "Basic Issues in Organizations: A Comparative Perspective," Papers 93-01, Minnesota - Industrial Relations Center.
- Hermalin, Benjamin E., 1992.
"Heterogeneity in Organizational Form: Why Otherwise Identical Firms Choose Different Incentives for Their Managers,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt4v4548gz, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Benjamin E. Hermalin, 1994. "Heterogeneity in Organizational Form: Why Otherwise Identical Firms Choose Different Incentives for Their Managers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(4), pages 518-537, Winter.
- Benjamin E. Hermalin., 1992. "Heterogeneity in Organizational Form: Why Otherwise Identical Firms Choose Different Incentives for Their Managers," Economics Working Papers 92-193, University of California at Berkeley.
- Scoones, David & Bernhardt, Dan, 1998. "Promotion, Turnover, and Discretionary Human Capital Acquisition," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 122-41, January.
- 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.
- Chong-En Bai & Yijiang Wang, 2003. "Uncertainty in Labor Productivity and Specific Human Capital Investment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 651-676, July.
- Kahn, Charles & Huberman, Gur, 1988. "Two-sided Uncertainty and "Up-or-Out" Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 423-44, October.
- Paul Osterman, 1994. "How common is workplace transformation and who adopts it?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
- Aoki, Masahiko, 1990. "Toward an Economic Model of the Japanese Firm," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 1-27, March.
- Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
- Qian, Yingyi, 1994. "Incentives and Loss of Control in an Optimal Hierarchy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 527-44, July.
- Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 1999. "Careers in organizations: Theory and evidence," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2373-2437 Elsevier.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mary Helen Walker).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.