Managerial spans, industry tasks and ICT: evidence from the U.S
AbstractThe knowledge theoretic view of organization of production postulates that ICT, tasks and hierarchies intertwine. Utilizing Occupational Employment Statistics and O*NET data, this study investigates the proposition by exploiting the substantial cross-industry variation in hierarchical forms, which are here captured by spans of control among middle and corporate managers. Information [IT] and communication technologies [CT] are explored separately, and the parsimonious task taxonomy depicts industries in four dimensions: tacit knowledge, cognitive, physical/technical and interaction. The key predictions of the knowledge hierarchy literature can hence be tested and the findings largely reverberate with theory. First, ICT influences middle and corporate manager spans dissimilarly reflecting technological asymmetries in hierarchies. Higher IT utilization narrows organizations yet CT expands middle management. Second, industry tasks govern organizational outcomes. Cognitive tasks flatten and technical/physical tasks narrow hierarchies. Third, the descriptive evidence suggests that hierarchies are highly non-pyramidal across U.S. industries. Finally, the key insight is that spans in top hierarchy are insular to tasks yet organizations down the middle management reflect the nature of industry. With some exceptions the results are robust to exogenous variation in ICT utilization.
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 University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 39403.
Date of creation: 24 May 2012
Date of revision:
Organization; hierarchy; span of control; tasks; ICT; cross-industry;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
- J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
- L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-06-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2012-06-25 (Business Economics)
- NEP-CSE-2012-06-25 (Economics of Strategic Management)
- NEP-KNM-2012-06-25 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
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.:
- Bloom, Nicholas & Garicano, Luis & Sadun, Raffaella & Van Reenen, John, 2013.
"The distinct effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on firm organization,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
9762, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Nick Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2009. "The Distinct Effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on Firm Organization," CEP Discussion Papers dp0927, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Nicholas Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2009. "The distinct effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on firm organization," NBER Working Papers 14975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nick Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2009. "The distinct effects of information technology and communication technology on firm organization," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25477, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Colombo, Massimo G. & Delmastro, Marco, 1999. "Some stylized facts on organization and its evolution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 255-274, November.
- Ferdinando Monte & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Lorenzo Caliendo, 2012.
"The Anatomy of French Production Hierarchies,"
2012 Meeting Papers
304, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Caliendo, Lorenzo & Monte, Ferdinando & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2012. "The Anatomy of French Production Hierarchies," CEPR Discussion Papers 9073, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Lorenzo Caliendo & Ferdinando Monte & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2012. "The Anatomy of French Production Hierarchies," NBER Working Papers 18259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lorenzo Caliendo & Ferdinando Monte & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2012. "The Anatomy of French Production Hierarchies," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1867, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Massimo G. Colombo & Marco Delmastro, 2004. "Delegation of Authority In Business Organizations: An Empirical Test," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 53-80, 03.
- 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.
- Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2005. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," NBER Working Papers 11458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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, December.
- Smeets, Valerie & Warzynski, Frederic, 2008. "Too many theories, too few facts? What the data tell us about the link between span of control, compensation and career dynamics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 687-703, August.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.