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Parallel Computing: Technological Changes and Organizational Redesign

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  • Jacek Cukrowski

    ()
    (CERGE and The Economics Institute, Charles University, Prague)

Abstract

Taking into account the very limited ability of individuals to handle and process information (for given information-processing technology), some economists argue that the sequential regime of data processing has been replaced by parallel methods (in economic jargon: hiererchical or decentralized computations (see, e.g., Radner (1993)) in order to respond to the growing problem of handling an increasing flow of information (Chandler, 1966, or Bolton and Dewatripont, 1994). Not surprisingly, therefore, organizational changes in data-processing systems (i.e., reduction of parallel computational structures) observed in the last decade (see, e.g., Business Week, 1989) are usually explained by the improvement in information-processing technology (Schein, 1989, Kennedy, 1994). However, research to date has not provided an adequate economic explanation of the conditions under which improvements in information-processing technology reduce the degree of parallelization of computational processes (i.e., the size of decentralized computational structures). Thus, the subject of the present paper is an examination of the conditions that have to be satisfied for the organizational restructuring of the structures used for parallel computing in response to changes in information- precessing technology.

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Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 1996 with number _014.

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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf6:_014

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  1. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 1996. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9597, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Kennedy, Peter W., 1994. "Information processing and organization design," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 37-51, September.
  3. Radner, Roy, 1993. "The Organization of Decentralized Information Processing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1109-46, September.
  4. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  5. Roy RADNER & Timothy VAN ZANDT, 1992. "Information Processing in Firms and Returns to Scale," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 25-26, pages 265-298.
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