Authority versus Persuasion
This paper studies a principal's trade-off between using persuasion versus using interpersonal authority to get the agent to 'do the right thing' from the principal's perspective (when the principal and agent openly disagree on the right course of action). It shows that persuasion and authority are complements at low levels of effectiveness but substitutes at high levels. Furthermore, the principal will rely more on persuasion when agent motivation is more important for the execution of the project, when the agent has strong intrinsic or extrinsic incentives, and, for a wide range of settings, when the principal is more confident about the right course of action.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
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- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994.
"Formal and Real Authority in Organizations,"
95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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6094, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Nov 2007.
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407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
- Dessein, Wouter & Garicano, Luis & Gertner, Robert, 2007.
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6019, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
- Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986.
"Relying on the Information of Interested Parties,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 18-32, Spring.
- Van den Steen, Eric, 2007. "The Limits of Authority: Motivation versus Coordination," Working papers 37305, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Eric Van den Steen, 2010. "Interpersonal Authority in a Theory of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 466-90, March.
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