Why Are Bad Products So Hard to Kill?
It is puzzling that firms often continue to invest in product development projects when they should know that demand will be low. We argue that bad products are hard to kill because firms face an inherent conflict when designing managers' incentives. Rewarding success encourages managers to forge ahead even when demand is low. To avoid investing in low-demand products, the firm must also reward decisions to kill products. However, rewarding managers for killing products effectively undermines the rewards for success. The inability to resolve this tension forces the firm to choose between paying an even larger bonus for success and accepting continued investment in low-demand products. We explore the boundaries of this argument by analyzing how the timing of demand information affects product investment decisions.
Volume (Year): 56 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bernardo, Antonio E. & Cai, Hongbin & Luo, Jiang, 2001. "Capital budgeting and compensation with asymmetric information and moral hazard," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 311-344, September.
- Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2006. "Organizational Design, Project Selection, and Incentives," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(3), pages 424-449, September.
- Kim C. Border & Joel Sobel, 1987. "Samurai Accountant: A Theory of Auditing and Plunder," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 525-540.
- Guido Friebel & Michael Raith, 2010. "Resource Allocation and Organizational Form," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-33, May.
- Liang Guo, 2009. "The Benefits of Downstream Information Acquisition," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(3), pages 457-471, 05-06.
- Shin, Dongsoo, 2008. "Information acquisition and optimal project management," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 1032-1043, July.
- Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987.
"Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives,"
Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-328, March.
- Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Bergmann, Rouven & Friedl, Gunther, 2008. "Controlling innovative projects with moral hazard and asymmetric information," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1504-1514, October.
- Ilan Guedj & David Scharfstein, 2004. "Organizational Scope and Investment: Evidence from the Drug Development Strategies and Performance of Biopharmaceutical Firms," NBER Working Papers 10933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard A. Lambert, 1986. "Executive Effort and Selection of Risky Projects," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 77-88, Spring.
- Jaeyoung Sung, 1995. "Linearity with Project Selection and Controllable Diffusion Rate in Continuous-Time Principal-Agent Problems," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 720-743, Winter.
- Laux, Volker, 2008. "On the value of influence activities for capital budgeting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 625-635, March.
- Preyas S. Desai & Kannan Srinivasan, 1995. "Demand Signalling Under Unobservable Effort in Franchising: Linear and Nonlinear Price Contracts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(10), pages 1608-1623, October.
- Robert M. Townsend, 1979.
"Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification,"
45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
- James G. March & Zur Shapira, 1987. "Managerial Perspectives on Risk and Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(11), pages 1404-1418, November.