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Organizational Structure and Economic Performance: A Test of the Multidivisional Hypothesis

  • Henry Ogden Armour
  • David J. Teece

This paper empirically investigates the proposition that the organization and operation of the large enterprise along "M-form" multidivisional lines favors goal pursuit and least-cost behavior more nearly associated with the neoclassical profit maximization hypothesis than a number of alternative organizational forms. Using a sample of petroleum firms during the period 1955-1973, a positive relationship between M-form structure and profitability is observed during the period in which the M-form innovation was being diffused. This relationship is no longer observed once an organizational form equilibrium is achieved. The results provide support for the "Markets and Hierarchies" paradigm, but additional studies are needed to affirm the generality of the finding.

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Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal Bell Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 9 (1978)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 106-122

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Handle: RePEc:rje:bellje:v:9:y:1978:i:spring:p:106-122
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