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Agent-based modeling in managerial science: an illustrative survey and study

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  • Friederike Wall

Abstract

This article provides an overview of the current state of agent-based modeling in managerial science. In particular, the aim is to illustrate major lines of development in agent-based modeling in the field and to highlight the opportunities and limitations of this research approach. The article employs a twofold approach: First, a survey on research efforts employing agent-based simulation models related to domains of managerial science is given which have benefited considerably from this research method. Second, an illustrative study is conducted in the area of management accounting research, a domain which, so far, has rarely seen agent-based modeling efforts. In particular, we introduce an agent-based model that allows to investigate the relation between intra-firm interdependencies, performance measures used in incentive schemes, and accounting accuracy. We compare this model to a study which uses both, a principal-agent model and an empirical analysis. We find that the three approaches come to similar major findings but that they suffer from rather different limitations and also provide different perspectives on the subject. In particular, it becomes obvious that agent-based modeling allows us to capture complex organizational structures and provides insights into the processual features of the system under investigation. Copyright The Author(s) 2016

Suggested Citation

  • Friederike Wall, 2016. "Agent-based modeling in managerial science: an illustrative survey and study," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 135-193, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:rvmgts:v:10:y:2016:i:1:p:135-193
    DOI: 10.1007/s11846-014-0139-3
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    Cited by:

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    5. Friederike Wall, 2021. "Modeling Managerial Search Behavior based on Simon's Concept of Satisficing," Papers 2104.14002, arXiv.org, revised May 2021.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agent-based modeling; Complexity; Innovation; Management accounting; Organizational structure; Simulation; Strategic management; C63; L2; M1;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • M1 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration

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