IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this book chapter or follow this series

Agent-Based Models of Organizations

In: Handbook of Computational Economics

  • Chang, Myong-Hun
  • Harrington, Joseph Jr.

The agent-based approach views an organization as a collection of agents, interacting with one another in their pursuit of assigned tasks. The performance of an organization in this framework is determined by the formal and informal structures of interactions among agents, which define the lines of communication, allocation of information processing tasks, distribution of decision-making authorities, and the provision of incentives. This chapter provides a synthesis of various agent-based models of organizations and surveys some of the new insights that are being delivered. The ultimate goal is to introduce the agent-based approach to economists in a methodological manner and provide a broader and less idiosyncratic perspective to those who are already engaging in this line of work. The chapter is organized around the set of research questions that are common to this literature: (1) What are the determinants of organizational behavior and performance? (2) How does organizational structure influence performance? (3) How do the skills and traits of agents matter and how do they interact with structure? (4) How do the characteristics of the environment--including its stability, complexity, and competitiveness--influence the appropriate allocation of authority and information? (5) How is the behavior and performance influenced when an organization is coevolving with other organizations from which it can learn? (6) Can an organization evolve its way to a better structure?

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B7P5C-4JR414P-H/2/900379035d37365e352b1a18e278a14d
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

as
in new window

This chapter was published in:
  • Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of Computational Economics," Handbook of Computational Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2.
  • This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Computational Economics with number 2-26.
    Handle: RePEc:eee:hecchp:2-26
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description

    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.:

    as in new window
    1. DeCanio, Stephen J. & Watkins, William E., 1998. "Information processing and organizational structure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 275-294, August.
    2. Janssen, Marco A. & Ostrom, Elinor, 2006. "Governing Social-Ecological Systems," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 30, pages 1465-1509 Elsevier.
    3. Barr, Jason & Saraceno, Francesco, 2005. "Cournot competition, organization and learning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 277-295, January.
    4. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Scholarly Articles 4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    5. Wouter Dessein, 2000. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1747, Econometric Society.
    6. Joseph E. Harrington & Jr., 1999. "Rigidity of Social Systems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 40-64, February.
    7. John Duffy, 2004. "Agent-Based Models and Human Subject Experiments," Computational Economics 0412001, EconWPA.
    8. Scott E. Page, 1996. "Two measures of difficulty (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 321-346.
    9. Myong-Hun Chang & Joseph E. Harrington, 2000. "Centralization vs. Decentralization in a Multi-Unit Organization: A Computational Model of a Retail Chain as a Multi-Agent Adaptive System," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1427-1440, November.
    10. Harrington, Joseph Jr. & Chang, Myong-Hun, 2005. "Co-evolution of firms and consumers and the implications for market dominance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 245-276, January.
    11. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
    12. Eric Maskin & Yingyi Qian & Chenggang Xu, 1999. "Incentives, Information, and Organizational Form," Working Papers 99009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    13. Stephen J. DeCanio & Catherine Dibble & Keyvan Amir-Atefi, 2000. "The Importance of Organizational Structure for the Adoption of Innovations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(10), pages 1285-1299, October.
    14. Barr, Jason & Saraceno, Francesco, 2002. "A computational theory of the firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 345-361, November.
    15. Brenner, Thomas, 2006. "Agent Learning Representation: Advice on Modelling Economic Learning," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 895-947 Elsevier.
    16. Robert Axtell, 1999. "The Emergence of Firms in a Population of Agents," Working Papers 99-03-019, Santa Fe Institute.
    17. Holmstrom, Bengt R. & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "The theory of the firm," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-133 Elsevier.
    18. Levinthal, Daniel & March, James G., 1981. "A model of adaptive organizational search," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 307-333, December.
    19. Nicolaas J. Vriend, 2005. "ACE Models of Endogenous Interactions," Working Papers 542, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    20. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    21. Jan W. Rivkin & Nicolaj Siggelkow, 2003. "Balancing Search and Stability: Interdependencies Among Elements of Organizational Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(3), pages 290-311, March.
    22. Myong-Hun Chang & Joseph E Harrington, 2000. "Organization of Innovation in a Multi-Unit Firm: Coordinating Adaptive Search on Multiple Rugged Landscapes," Economics Working Paper Archive 442, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    23. MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K. & Wellman, Michael P., 2006. "Automated Markets and Trading Agents," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 28, pages 1381-1431 Elsevier.
    24. Kollman, Ken & Miller, John H & Page, Scott E, 2000. "Decentralization and the Search for Policy Solutions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 102-28, April.
    25. Van Zandt, Timothy, 1999. "Real-Time Decentralized Information Processing as a Model of Organizations with Boundedly Rational Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 633-58, July.
    26. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1998. "The Social Selection of Flexible and Rigid Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 63-82, March.
    27. Radner, Roy, 1993. "The Organization of Decentralized Information Processing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1109-46, September.
    28. Page, Scott E, 1996. "Two Measures of Difficulty," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 321-46, August.
    29. Myong-Hun Chang & Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2003. "Multimarket Competition, Consumer Search, and the Organizational Structure of Multiunit Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 541-552, April.
    30. Qian, Yingyi, 1994. "Incentives and Loss of Control in an Optimal Hierarchy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 527-44, July.
    31. Dow, Gregory K., 1990. "The organization as an adaptive network," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 159-185, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:hecchp:2-26. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.