IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/econom/v77y2010i307p544-564.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Organizational Design, Technology and the Boundaries of the Firm

Author

Listed:
  • MAIJA HALONEN‐AKATWIJUKA

Abstract

Focus (specialization) improves productivity but leads to more dependency and opens a door for holdup problems. We analyse how organizational design interacts with the allocation of ownership in minimizing the holdup problem. We identify a new cost of integration: inefficient organizational design in an integrated firm. We also show that the boundaries of the firm depend on technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Maija Halonen‐Akatwijuka, 2010. "Organizational Design, Technology and the Boundaries of the Firm," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(307), pages 544-564, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:77:y:2010:i:307:p:544-564
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0335.2008.00767.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2008.00767.x
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2008.00767.x?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
    2. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 353-376, July.
    3. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts and the Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84.
    4. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Power in a Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 387-432.
    5. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Michael Gibbs & Alec Levenson & Cindy Zoghi, 2010. "Why are jobs designed the way they are?," Research in Labor Economics, in: Solomon W. Polachek & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), Jobs, Training, and Worker Well-being, volume 30, pages 107-154, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    8. Carmichael, H Lorne & MacLeod, W Bentley, 1993. "Multiskilling, Technical Change and the Japanese Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 142-160, January.
    9. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
    10. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Horizontal vs. Vertical Information Structure of the Firm," Chapters, in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 5, pages 57-58, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Chiu, Y Stephen, 1998. "Noncooperative Bargaining, Hostages, and Optimal Asset Ownership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 882-901, September.
    12. Maija Halonen, 2002. "Reputation And The Allocation Of Ownership," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 539-558, July.
    13. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origins and Growth of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 805-851.
    14. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 2005. "On the Design of Hierarchies: Coordination versus Specialization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 675-702, August.
    15. Matthew Ellman, 2006. "Specificity Revisited: The Role of Cross-Investments," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 234-257, April.
    16. Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1999. "Informal Authority in Organizations," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 56-73, April.
    17. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    18. Mitusch, Kay, 2000. "Job Independence as an Incentive Device," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(266), pages 245-263, May.
    19. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    20. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-991, September.
    21. Shelanski, Howard A & Klein, Peter G, 1995. "Empirical Research in Transaction Cost Economics: A Review and Assessment," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 335-361, October.
    22. David de Meza & Ben Lockwood, 1998. "Does Asset Ownership Always Motivate Managers? Outside Options and the Property Rights Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 361-386.
    23. James B. Rebitzer & Lowell J. Taylor, 2007. "When Knowledge Is an Asset: Explaining the Organizational Structure of Large Law Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 201-229.
    24. Metin M. Cosgel & Thomas J. Miceli, 1999. "Job Rotation: Cost, Benefits, and Stylized Facts," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(2), pages 301-301, June.
    25. Walter Elberfeld, 2002. "Market size and vertical integration: Stigler’s hypothesis reconsidered," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 23-42, March.
    26. Rosen, Sherwin, 1983. "Specialization and Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 43-49, January.
    27. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, November.
    28. Ola Kvaløy, 2007. "Asset Specificity and Vertical Integration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(3), pages 551-572, September.
    29. George J. Stigler, 1951. "The Division of Labor is Limited by the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 185-185.
    30. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1999. "The Firm as a Subeconomy," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 74-102, April.
    31. Jaime Ortega, 2001. "Job Rotation as a Learning Mechanism," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(10), pages 1361-1370, October.
    32. Anil Arya, 2004. "Using Job Rotation to Extract Employee Information," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 400-414, October.
    33. Michael Gibbs & Alec Levenson & Cindy Zoghi, 2010. "Why are jobs designed the way they are?," Research in Labor Economics, in: Solomon W. Polachek & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), Jobs, Training, and Worker Well-being, volume 30, pages 107-154, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Sautel & Cécile Cézanne, 2007. "The Human Capital-Intensive Firm and Coordination: Redefined Integration and Disintegration," CEPN Working Papers hal-00628647, HAL.
    2. Kvaløy, Ola & Olsen, Trond E., 2008. "Relative performance evaluation, agent hold-up and firm organization," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 229-241, June.
    3. Olivier Sautel, 2007. "L'évolution de la théorie des contrats incomplets face à la dé-intégration verticale," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 5-5.
    4. Cécile Cézanne & Olivier Sautel, 2007. "Firme intensive en capital humain et coordination : vers une redéfinition du rapport entre intégration et dé-intégration," Post-Print hal-00331454, HAL.
    5. Cécile CEZANNE & Laurence SAGLIETTO, 2014. "Human Capital-Intensive Firms and Symbolic Value Creation," Timisoara Journal of Economics and Business, West University of Timisoara, Romania, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 7(1), pages 70-88.
    6. Deng, Zhongqi & Song, Shunfeng & Chen, Yongjun, 2016. "Private participation in infrastructure project and its impact on the project cost," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 63-76.

    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. Christian A. Ruzzier, 2009. "Asset Specificity and Vertical Integration: Williamson’s Hypothesis Reconsidered," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-119, Harvard Business School.
    2. Oliver Hart & Bengt Holmstrom, 2008. "A Theory of Firm Scope," NBER Working Papers 14613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bernard Baudry & Virgile Chassagnon, 2012. "The vertical network organization as a specific governance structure: what are the challenges for incomplete contracts theories and what are the theoretical implications for the boundaries of the (hub," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 16(2), pages 285-303, May.
    4. Gibbons, Robert, 2005. "Four forma(lizable) theories of the firm?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 200-245, October.
    5. Francine Lafontaine & Margaret Slade, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Firm Boundaries: The Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 629-685, September.
    6. Robert Gibbons, Editor & John Roberts, Editor, 2012. "The Handbook of Organizational Economics," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9889.
    7. Ilya Segal & Michael D.Whinston, 2012. "Property Rights," Introductory Chapters, in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.),: The Handbook of Organizational Economics, Princeton University Press.
    8. Maloney, Michael T., 2017. "Alchian remembrances," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 561-582.
    9. Eduard Marinov, 2016. "The 2016 Nobel Prize in Economics," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 6, pages 97-149.
    10. Matouschek, Niko, 2002. "Information and the Optimal Ownership Structure of Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 3216, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, "undated". "What Determines Firm Size?," CRSP working papers 496, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    12. Kim, Jongwook & Mahoney, Joseph T., 2008. "A Strategic Theory of the Firm as a Nexus of Incomplete Contracts: A Property Rights Approach," Working Papers 08-0108, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    13. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2006. "Information Gathering, Transaction Costs, and the Property Rights Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 422-434, March.
    14. Hideshi Itoh, 2006. "The Theories of International Outsourcing and Integration : A Theoretical Overview from the Perspective of Organizational Economics," Microeconomics Working Papers 21891, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    15. Andreas Roider, 2004. "Asset Ownership and Contractibility of Interaction," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 787-802, Winter.
    16. Committee, Nobel Prize, 2016. "Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström: Contract Theory," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2016-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
    17. Kvaløy, Ola & Olsen, Trond E., 2008. "Relative performance evaluation, agent hold-up and firm organization," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 229-241, June.
    18. Berger, Allen N. & Miller, Nathan H. & Petersen, Mitchell A. & Rajan, Raghuram G. & Stein, Jeremy C., 2005. "Does function follow organizational form? Evidence from the lending practices of large and small banks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 237-269, May.
    19. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2015. "Government versus private ownership of public goods: The role of bargaining frictions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 23-31.
    20. Olivier Sautel, 2007. "L'évolution de la théorie des contrats incomplets face à la dé-intégration verticale," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 5-5.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

    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:bla:econom:v:77:y:2010:i:307:p:544-564. 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/lsepsuk.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: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.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.