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Hierarchies Versus Committees: Communication and Information Acquisition in Organizations

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  • Junichiro Ishida

Abstract

type="main"> In most firms workers are divided asymmetrically in terms of authority and responsibility. In this paper, we view the asymmetric allocations of authority and responsibility as essential features of hierarchy and examine why hierarchies often prevail in organizations from that perspective. A key departure is that we consider a case where the authority relationship is defined only by the allocation of responsibility through contingent contracts. Within this framework, we show that the contractual arrangement that allocates responsibility asymmetrically often emerges as the optimal organizational form, which gives rise to the chain of command pertaining to hierarchical organizations.

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  • Junichiro Ishida, 2015. "Hierarchies Versus Committees: Communication and Information Acquisition in Organizations," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 62-88, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecrev:v:66:y:2015:i:1:p:62-88
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