IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejmic/v9y2017i1p217-41.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Power Dynamics in Organizations

Author

Listed:
  • Jin Li
  • Niko Matouschek
  • Michael Powell

Abstract

We examine an infinitely repeated game between a principal, who has the formal authority to decide on a project, and a biased agent, who is privately informed about what projects are available. The optimal relational contract speaks to how power is earned, lost, and retained. It shows that entrenched power structures are consistent with optimal administration of power. And it provides new perspectives on why similar firms organize differently, even when those organizational differences lead to persistent differences in performance, and why established firms fail to exploit new opportunities, even when they are publicly observable.

Suggested Citation

  • Jin Li & Niko Matouschek & Michael Powell, 2017. "Power Dynamics in Organizations," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 217-241, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:9:y:2017:i:1:p:217-41
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.20150138
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/mic.20150138
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=k-gR2TJlwQ-onCHZ4C5-muMAa64iHTfk
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=BGTlPPiDkjejpKc0zup2fUfE3UjrZZsh
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1999. "Informal Authority in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 56-73, April.
    2. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-465, Autumn.
    3. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    4. Phillipe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2014. "Incomplete Contracts and the Internal Organization of Firms," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(suppl_1), pages 37-63.
    5. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson, 2001. "Who Wants a Good Reputation?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 415-441.
    6. Ricardo Alonso & Niko Matouschek, 2007. "Relational delegation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(4), pages 1070-1089, December.
    7. Stephen E. Spear & Sanjay Srivastava, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617.
    8. Bruno Biais & Thomas Mariotti & Guillaume Plantin & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2007. "Dynamic Security Design: Convergence to Continuous Time and Asset Pricing Implications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 345-390.
    9. Daniel F. Garrett & Alessandro Pavan, 2012. "Managerial Turnover in a Changing World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(5), pages 879-925.
    10. Marina Halac, 2014. "Relationship Building: Conflict and Project Choice over Time," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 683-708.
    11. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796.
    12. Jin Li & Niko Matouschek, 2013. "Managing Conflicts in Relational Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2328-2351, October.
    13. Sylvain Chassang, 2010. "Building Routines: Learning, Cooperation, and the Dynamics of Incomplete Relational Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 448-465, March.
    14. Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "The Formation of Cooperative Relationships," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 214-233, April.
    15. Nahum D. Melumad & Toshiyuki Shibano, 1991. "Communication in Settings with No. Transfers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 173-198, Summer.
    16. Scott Schaefer, 1998. "Influence Costs, Structural Inertia, and Organizational Change," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 237-263, June.
    17. Watson, Joel, 1999. "Starting Small and Renegotiation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 52-90, March.
    18. Huanxing Yang, 2013. "Nonstationary Relational Contracts With Adverse Selection," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(2), pages 525-547, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Fong, Yuk-fai & Li, Jin, 2017. "Relational contracts, limited liability, and employment dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 270-293.
    2. David McAdams, 2011. "Performance and Turnover in a Stochastic Partnership," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 107-142, November.
    3. Luis Garicano & Luis Rayo, 2016. "Why Organizations Fail: Models and Cases," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 137-192, March.
    4. Joel Watson, 2021. "Theoretical Foundations of Relational Incentive Contracts," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 13(1), pages 631-659, August.
    5. Miriam Schütte & Philipp Christoph Wichardt, 2013. "Delegation and Interim Performance Evaluation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4193, CESifo.
    6. James M. Malcomson, 2012. "Relational Incentive Contracts," Introductory Chapters, in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.),The Handbook of Organizational Economics, Princeton University Press.
    7. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers, 2010. "A Model of Delegated Project Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 213-244, January.
    8. Ekinci, Emre & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2021. "Disagreement and informal delegation in organizations," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    9. Li, Jin & Mukherjee, Arijit & Vasconcelos, Luis, 2019. "Rulebooks in Relational Contracts," Working Papers 2019-7, Michigan State University, Department of Economics.
    10. Emre Ekinci & Nikos Theodoropoulos, 2018. "Informal Delegation and Training," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 02-2018, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    11. Phillipe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2014. "Incomplete Contracts and the Internal Organization of Firms," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(suppl_1), pages 37-63.
    12. Ricardo Alonso & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "Optimal Delegation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 259-293.
    13. Zhiguo He & Bin Wei & Jianfeng Yu & Feng Gao, 2017. "Optimal Long-Term Contracting with Learning," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 30(6), pages 2006-2065.
    14. Lipnowski, Elliot & Ramos, João, 2020. "Repeated delegation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    15. Fischer, Christian, 2020. "Optimal payment contracts in trade relationships," MPRA Paper 101956, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Englmaier, Florian & Segal, Carmit, 2016. "Morale, Relationships, and Wages: An Experimental Study," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145662, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. Ronald Anderson & Cecilia Bustamante & Stéphane Guibaud & Mihail Zervos, 2018. "Agency, Firm Growth, and Managerial Turnover," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2iclr3ojhv9, Sciences Po.
    18. Harrington, Joseph E. & Zhao, Wei, 2012. "Signaling and tacit collusion in an infinitely repeated Prisoners’ Dilemma," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 277-289.
    19. Emre Ekinci & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2021. "Determinants of Delegation: Evidence from British Establishment Data," Bogazici Journal, Review of Social, Economic and Administrative Studies, Bogazici University, Department of Economics, vol. 35(1), pages 50-67.
    20. Takashi Shimizu, 2017. "Cheap talk with an exit option: a model of exit and voice," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 46(4), pages 1071-1088, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:9:y:2017:i:1:p:217-41. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.