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On the Notion of Responsibility in Organizations

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  • Dirk Sliwka

Abstract

We derive a natural definition of responsibility in a formal model in which employees care for their career prospects: A superior holds a subordinate responsible for a task when she announces her belief that this subordinate contributes most to this task . We show that those announced beliefs lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the reputation of the responsible subordinate is then affected by the outcome of the task and he therefore has strong incentives to contribute to its success. There are equilibria in which either a single agent or no agent is responsible for a task but joint responsibility never arises. Several extensions are discussed. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Sliwka, 2006. "On the Notion of Responsibility in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 523-547, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:22:y:2006:i:2:p:523-547
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewj012
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    Cited by:

    1. Björn Bartling & Urs Fischbacher, 2012. "Shifting the Blame: On Delegation and Responsibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 67-87.
    2. Feltus, Christophe & Petit, Michaël & Dubois, Eric, 2014. "Improving Responsibility modelling in Enterprise Architecture, Case Study in the Healthcare Sector," MPRA Paper 77313, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation

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