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Organizational Languages

  • Birger Wernerfelt

This paper is concerned with communication within a team of players trying to coordinate in response to information dispersed among them. The problem is nontrivial because they cannot communicate all information instantaneously but have to send longer or shorter sequences of messages, using coarse codes. We focus on the design of these codes and show that members may gain compatibility advantages by using identical codes and that this can support the existence of several, more or less efficient, symmetric equilibria. Asymmetric equilibria may exist only if coordination across different sets of members is of sufficiently different importance. The results are consistent with the stylized fact that firms differ even within industries and that coordination between divisions is harder than coordination inside divisions. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA, and 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK..

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economics & Management Strategy.

Volume (Year): 13 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 461-472

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:13:y:2004:i:3:p:461-472
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  1. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
  2. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
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