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Organizing to Adapt and Compete

Author

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  • Ricardo Alonso
  • Wouter Dessein
  • Niko Matouschek

Abstract

We examine the relationship between the organization of a multi-divisional firm and its ability to adapt production decisions to changes in the environment. We show that even if lower-level managers have superior information about local conditions, and incentive conflicts are negligible, a centralized organization can be better at adapting to local information than a decentralized one. As a result, and in contrast to what is commonly argued, an increase in product market competition that makes adaptation more important can favor centralization rather than decentralization. (JEL D21, D23, F23, L22)

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo Alonso & Wouter Dessein & Niko Matouschek, 2015. "Organizing to Adapt and Compete," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 158-187, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:7:y:2015:i:2:p:158-87
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.20130100
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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