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Organizing Technological Interdependencies: A Coordination Perspective on the Firm

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  • Foss, Kirsten

Abstract

This paper develops a coordination perspective on the firm. The basic idea is to combine insights into the division of labor with insights into the allocation of property rights. Thus, a basic argument is that use rights over productive assets are necessary in order to accumulate the experience needed to perform improvements in production. An increase in the division of labor in production accelerates the accumulation of skills from learning by doing in production. However, an increasing division of labor introduces greater complexity and new kinds of tools and equipment, and this in turn can create uncertainty about the best way of coordinating the specialized and interdependent tasks. The result may be bottlenecks in production and uneven development of components. Experimenting with the coordination of tasks is necessary in order to eliminate these problems. However, such experimentation is best facilitated by a certain structure of property rights. Coordination by direction provides a cheap way of conducting the experiments needed to collect information on how best to coordinate interdependent activities. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Foss, Kirsten, 2001. "Organizing Technological Interdependencies: A Coordination Perspective on the Firm," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 151-178, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:10:y:2001:i:1:p:151-78
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    Cited by:

    1. You-Na Lee & John P. Walsh, 2012. "Intra-organizational integration and innovation: organizational structure, environmental contingency and R&D performance," ICER Working Papers 20-2011, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    2. Nicolai J. Foss & Peter G. Klein, 2013. "Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial governance and economic organization," Chapters,in: Handbook of Economic Organization, chapter 22 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Kirsten Foss & Nicolai J. Foss, "undated". "Authority and Discretion: Tensions, Credible Delegation, and Implications for New Organizational Forms," IVS/CBS Working Papers 2002-08, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy, Copenhagen Business School.
    4. Fiorenza BELUSSI & Luciano PILOTTI, 2006. "Eterogeneità delle imprese e varietà dei modelli organizzativi. Conoscenze, risorse, relazioni, e istituzioni: verso una prospettiva integrata della teoria dell’impresa," Departmental Working Papers 2006-27, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    5. Nicolai Foss, 2002. "'Coase vs Hayek': Economic Organization and the Knowledge Economy," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 9-35.
    6. Andersen, Poul Houman & Christensen, Poul Rind, 2005. "Bridges over troubled water: suppliers as connective nodes in global supply networks," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(9), pages 1261-1273, September.
    7. Elsner, Wolfram & Schwardt, Henning, 2015. "The (dis-)embedded firm: Complex structure and dynamics in inter-firm relations. Adding institutionalization as a Veblenian dimension to the Coase-Williamson approach – An emerging triangular organiza," MPRA Paper 67193, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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