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The Importance of Organizational Structure for the Adoption of Innovations

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen J. DeCanio

    () (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106)

  • Catherine Dibble

    () (Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106)

  • Keyvan Amir-Atefi

    () (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106)

Abstract

Organizational structure affects both the overall behavior of firms and the situations of individuals and subunits within firms. The effect of exogenous changes in the environment (market prices, costs, or regulations) on organizations can be partitioned into the immediate direct effect of the change and the full effect after organizational structure has had time to adjust. This paper develops a computational model of the diffusion of a profitable innovation through a firm, and uses numerical simulations to calculate the relative importance of the direct and structural adjustment components of changes in profitability. One finding is that a failure to recognize the importance of organizational structure on the performance of firms will lead to serious bias in estimation of the costs or benefits of a change in external circumstances. The type of network model developed also has implications for the individuals and divisions that make up the firm. We examine some of the structural characteristics of well-adapted organizations, and show that asymmetries and economic inequalities emerge even when the individual agents' personal characteristics are identical.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen J. DeCanio & Catherine Dibble & Keyvan Amir-Atefi, 2000. "The Importance of Organizational Structure for the Adoption of Innovations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(10), pages 1285-1299, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:10:p:1285-1299
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.46.10.1285.12270
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. DeCanio, Stephen J. & Watkins, William E., 1998. "Information processing and organizational structure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 275-294, August.
    2. Grandori, Anna, 1991. "Negotiating efficient organization forms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 319-340, December.
    3. Kennedy, Peter W., 1994. "Information processing and organization design," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 37-51, September.
    4. Marschak, Thomas & Reichelstein, Stefan, 1998. "Network Mechanisms, Informational Efficiency, and Hierarchies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 106-141, March.
    5. Hans Gersbach & Uwe Wehrspohn, 1998. "Organizational design with a budget constraint," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 3(2), pages 149-157.
    6. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin Hitt, 1996. "Paradox Lost? Firm-Level Evidence on the Returns to Information Systems Spending," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(4), pages 541-558, April.
    7. Kollman, Ken & Miller, John H & Page, Scott E, 1997. "Political Institutions and Sorting in a Tiebout Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 977-992, December.
    8. Radner, Roy, 1993. "The Organization of Decentralized Information Processing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1109-1146, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin, Ralf & Muûls, Mirabelle & de Preux, Laure B. & Wagner, Ulrich J., 2012. "Anatomy of a paradox: Management practices, organizational structure and energy efficiency," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 208-223.
    2. Chang, Myong-Hun & Harrington, Joseph Jr., 2006. "Agent-Based Models of Organizations," Handbook of Computational Economics,in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 26, pages 1273-1337 Elsevier.
    3. Harrington, Donna Ramirez, 2012. "Two-stage adoption of different types of pollution prevention (P2) activities," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 349-373.
    4. repec:kap:iecepo:v:15:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10368-016-0370-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Masurel, E. & Nijkamp, P., 2009. "Bridging the gap between institutions of higher education and small and medium-size enterprises," Serie Research Memoranda 0037, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    6. Masurel, Enno, 2005. "Use of Patent Information : Empirical Evidence from Innovative SMEs," Serie Research Memoranda 0002, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    7. Barr, Jason & Saraceno, Francesco, 2002. "A computational theory of the firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 345-361, November.
    8. Scott A. Shane & Karl T. Ulrich, 2004. "50th Anniversary Article: Technological Innovation, Product Development, and Entrepreneurship in Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(2), pages 133-144, February.
    9. Barry Anderson & Jorg Leib & Ralf Martin & Marty McGuigan & Mirabelle Muûls & Ulrich J. Wagner & Laure B. de Preux, 2011. "Climate Change Policy and Business in Europe. Evidence from Interviewing Managers," CEP Occasional Papers 027, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. Inoue, Emiko & Arimura, Toshi H. & Nakano, Makiko, 2013. "A new insight into environmental innovation: Does the maturity of environmental management systems matter?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 156-163.
    11. Pismennaya, Anna & Dosorova, Helen & Anfinogentov, Vasiliy, 1999. "Development of Market Relations in Russia: The Impact of the Structure of a Firm," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa216, European Regional Science Association.
    12. Donna Ramirez Harrington, 2013. "Effectiveness Of State Pollution Prevention Programs And Policies," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 255-278, April.
    13. Elmar Kiesling & Markus Günther & Christian Stummer & Lea Wakolbinger, 2012. "Agent-based simulation of innovation diffusion: a review," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 20(2), pages 183-230, June.
    14. Madhu Khanna & George Deltas & Donna Harrington, 2009. "Adoption of Pollution Prevention Techniques: The Role of Management Systems and Regulatory Pressures," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(1), pages 85-106, September.

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