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Organizational performance in hierarchies and communities of practice

  • Dupouet, Olivier
  • Yildizoglu, Murat

In a preceding article we have studied the Communities of Practice and their conditions of emergence using an Agent based model of a set of agents facing a continuous flow of problems. We center now our analysis on the performance of this organizational structure in comparison with a two-level hierarchical delegation structure. Our results show the crucial role played by the communication and the specialisation of the agents. Our main result shows that community structures are efficient for competence building, and particularly, if one considers learning in the long term. This paper backs the claim made by Bowles and Gintis [2000] that hierarchy and communities are complementary rather than substitute modes of governance.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 61 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 668-690

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:61:y:2006:i:4:p:668-690
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  1. Jan W. Rivkin & Nicolaj Siggelkow, 2003. "Balancing Search and Stability: Interdependencies Among Elements of Organizational Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(3), pages 290-311, March.
  2. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2001. "Social Capital and Community Governance," Working Papers 01-01-003, Santa Fe Institute.
  3. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 2005. "On the Design of Hierarchies: Coordination versus Specialization," ESE Discussion Papers 117, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  4. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 1996. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9597, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  6. Delmastro, Marco, 2002. "The determinants of the management hierarchy: evidence from Italian plants," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 119-137, January.
  7. Olivier Dupouët & Murât Yildizoglu & Patrick Cohendet, 2003. "Morphogenèse de communautés de pratique," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 103(1), pages 91-110.
  8. Visser, Bauke, 2000. "Organizational communication structure and performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 231-252, June.
  9. Kathleen M. Carley & Zhiang Lin, 1997. "A Theoretical Study of Organizational Performance Under Information Distortion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(7), pages 976-997, July.
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