IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/jindec/v53y2005i4p437-467.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Multi‐Task Principal‐Agent Approach To Organizational Form

Author

Listed:
  • DAVID BESANKO
  • PIERRE RÉGIBEAU
  • KATHARINE E. ROCKETT

Abstract

This paper studies the choice of organizational forms in a multi‐task principal‐agent model. We compare a functional organization in which the firm is organized into functional departments such as marketing and R&D to a product‐based organization in which the firm is organized into product lines. Managers' compensation can be based on noisy measures of product‐line profits. Measures of a functional area's contribution to total profits are not available, however. This effect favors the product organization. However, if there are significant asymmetries between functional area contributions to organizational success and cross‐product externalities within functions, organizing along functional lines may dominate the product organization. The functional organization can also dominate when a function is characterized by strong externalities while the other is not.

Suggested Citation

  • David Besanko & Pierre Régibeau & Katharine E. Rockett, 2005. "A Multi‐Task Principal‐Agent Approach To Organizational Form," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 437-467, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:53:y:2005:i:4:p:437-467
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6451.2005.00265.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6451.2005.00265.x
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/j.1467-6451.2005.00265.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. Itoh, Hideshi, 1992. "Cooperation in Hierarchical Organizations: An Incentive Perspective," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 321-345, April.
    2. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "Noncooperative game theory for industrial organization: An introduction and overview," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 259-327, Elsevier.
    3. Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-636, May.
    4. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    5. Holmstrom, Bengt R. & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "The theory of the firm," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-133, Elsevier.
    6. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
    7. Alfred D. Chandler, 1969. "Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262530090.
    8. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-328, March.
    9. Burton, Richard M. & Obel, Borge, 1988. "Opportunism, incentives, and the m-form hypothesis : A laboratory study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 99-119, July.
    10. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1995. "Some implications of growth for organizational form and ownership structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 440-455, April.
    11. R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), 1989. "Handbook of Industrial Organization," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2.
    12. R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), 1989. "Handbook of Industrial Organization," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    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. Bogaard, Hein & Svejnar, Jan, 2018. "Incentive pay and performance: Insider econometrics in a multi-unit firm," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 100-115.
    2. Akifumi Ishihara, 2020. "On Multitasking and Job Design in Relational Contracts," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 693-736, December.
    3. de, Vries Frans & Franckx, Laurent, 2012. "A Note on Organizational Design and the Optimal Allocation of Environmental Liability," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2012-09, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    4. Piccolo, Salvatore & Tarantino, Emanuele & Ursino, Giovanni, 2015. "The value of transparency in multidivisional firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 9-18.
    5. Zhaolin Li & Steven Q. Lu & Jennifer K. Ryan & Daewon Sun, 2021. "Impact of Organizational Structure on Development Strategy under Equity‐Based Incentives," Production and Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, vol. 30(4), pages 984-996, April.
    6. Laurent Franckx & Frans P. Vries & Ben White, 2022. "A note on organizational structure and environmental liability," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 24(2), pages 173-193, April.
    7. Arijit Mukherjee & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Optimal job design in the presence of implicit contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(1), pages 44-69, March.
    8. Kerstin Puschke, 2009. "Task assignment and organizational form," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 96(2), pages 149-168, March.
    9. Laurent Franckx & F.P. de Vries, 2004. "Environmental Liability and Organizational Structure," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0401, KU Leuven, Department of Economics - Research Group Energy, Transport and Environment.
    10. Kenneth S. Corts, 2007. "Teams versus individual accountability: solving multitask problems through job design," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 467-479, June.

    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. Kerstin Puschke, 2009. "Task assignment and organizational form," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 96(2), pages 149-168, March.
    2. Evangelia Chalioti, 2015. "Incentive contracts under product market competition and R&D spillovers," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 58(2), pages 305-328, February.
    3. Gibbons, Robert, 2005. "Four forma(lizable) theories of the firm?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 200-245, October.
    4. Dietrichson, Jens, 2013. "Coordination Incentives, Performance Measurement and Resource Allocation in Public Sector Organizations," Working Papers 2013:26, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    5. Theilen Bernd, 2009. "Market Competition and Lower Tier Incentives," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-29, June.
    6. Meyer, Margaret A. & Olsen, Trond E. & Torsvik, Gaute, 1996. "Limited intertemporal commitment and job design," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 401-417, December.
    7. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2373-2437 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Richard N. Langlois & Nicolai J. Foss, 1999. "Capabilities and Governance: The Rebirth of Production in the Theory of Economic Organization," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 201-218, May.
    9. James Jr., Harvey S., 1998. "Are employment and managerial control equivalent? Evidence from an electronics producer," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 447-471, September.
    10. Hooper, Louise, 2008. "Paying for performance: Uncertainty, asymmetric information and the payment model," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 157-163, January.
    11. Dessein, Wouter, 2012. "Incomplete Contracts and Firm Boundaries: New Directions," CEPR Discussion Papers 9019, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Karantininis, Kostas & Graversen, Jesper T. & Rasmussen, Hans Jacob Nymann, 2008. "Relational Contracting and Allocation of Decision Rights in the Agri-Food Industry: Producer Contracts and Food Safety," 110th Seminar, February 18-22, 2008, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 49877, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Evangelia Chalioti, 2015. "Team Production, Endogenous Learning about Abilities and Career Concerns," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2020, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    14. Garicano, Luis & Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio, 2005. "Sabotage in Tournaments: Making the Beautiful Game a Bit Less Beautiful," CEPR Discussion Papers 5231, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Juan Carlos Bárcena-Ruiz & F. Javier Casado-Izaga, 2005. "Spatial competition and the duration of managerial incentive contracts," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 29(2), pages 331-349, May.
    16. Kaplow, Louis & Shapiro, Carl, 2007. "Antitrust," Handbook of Law and Economics, in: A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell (ed.), Handbook of Law and Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 1073-1225, Elsevier.
    17. Bingley, P. & Eriksson, T, 2001. "Pay Spread and Skewness. Employee Effort and Firm Productivity," Papers 01-2, Aarhus School of Business - Department of Economics.
    18. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2011. "Personnel Economics: Hiring and Incentives," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 20, pages 1769-1823, Elsevier.
    19. Klaus Rathe & Ulrich Witt, 2001. "The Nature of the Firm – Static versus Developmental Interpretations," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 5(3), pages 331-351, September.
    20. Martin Gaynor, 1994. "Issues in the Industrial Organization of the Market for Physician Services," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 211-255, March.
    21. S. Mubia Wanjohi & Esther Waiganjo, 2015. "The Factors Influencing Strategy Implementation In Family Owned Businesses In Kenya: A Case Study of Nairobi Place Ltd," International Journal of Management Sciences, Research Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 5(6), pages 431-444.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • M20 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - General

    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:jindec:v:53:y:2005:i:4:p:437-467. 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: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-1821 .

    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: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-1821 .

    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.