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Multimarket Competition, Consumer Search, and the Organizational Structure of Multiunit Firms

Listed author(s):
  • Myong-Hun Chang

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio 44115)

  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218)

This research explores how market competition influences a firm's optimal organizational structure. For this purpose, a computational model of competing multiunit firms is developed in which unit managers and corporate staff continually search for better practices, while consumers search among units to find a better match. Organizational structure impacts both the practices at the unit level and the extent of knowledge transfer. An increasing returns mechanism is identified, which results in the relative performance of the centralized form being greater when competition is more intense.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.49.4.541.14426
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Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 49 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 541-552

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:49:y:2003:i:4:p:541-552
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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
  2. Myong-Hun Chang & Joseph E. Harrington, 2000. "Centralization vs. Decentralization in a Multi-Unit Organization: A Computational Model of a Retail Chain as a Multi-Agent Adaptive System," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1427-1440, November.
  3. Myong-Hun Chang & Joseph E Harrington, 2000. "Organization of Innovation in a Multi-Unit Firm: Coordinating Adaptive Search on Multiple Rugged Landscapes," Economics Working Paper Archive 442, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
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