IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/auu/dpaper/587.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Who Decides about Change and Restructuring in Organizations?

Author

Listed:
  • Kieron Meagher
  • Andrew Wait

Abstract

We model the determinants of who makes decisions, the principal or an agent, when there are multiple decisions. Decision making takes effort and time; and, once implemented, the expected loss from a particular decision (or project) increases with the length of time since the last decision was made. The model shows delegation is more likely as: (i) controllable uncertainty increases; (ii) uncontrollable uncertainty decreases; (iii) the number of plants in the firm decreases; (iv) the complexity of the decision increases; and (v) the importance of the decision increases. The theoretical predictions are consistent with our novel empirical results on the delegation of major organizational change decisions using workplace data. Our unique data allows us to identify who made a decision to implement a significant change, as well as key internal and external factors highlighted as potentially important in our theory. Empirically, delegation is more likely in organizations that: face a competitive product market; export; have predictable product demand; have a larger workplace; and that have fewer other workplaces in the same organization producing a similar output. We find business strategy is not related to the allocation of decision making authority; delegation, however, is associated with the use of human resource techniques such as the provision of bonuses to employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Kieron Meagher & Andrew Wait, 2008. "Who Decides about Change and Restructuring in Organizations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 587, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:587
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP587.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, November.
    2. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2005. "A Spatial Theory of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1464-1491, December.
    3. Christie, Andrew A. & Joye, Marc P. & Watts, Ross L., 2003. "Decentralization of the firm: theory and evidence," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 3-36, January.
    4. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, November.
    5. Mount,Kenneth R. & Reiter,Stanley, 2007. "Computation and Complexity in Economic Behavior and Organization," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521037891, October.
    6. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    7. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    8. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    9. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Claire Lelarge & John Van Reenen & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2007. "Technology, Information, and the Decentralization of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1759-1799.
    10. Wouter Dessein, 2002. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 811-838.
    11. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 1994. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9595, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    12. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    13. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
    14. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
    15. Orbay, Hakan, 2002. "Information Processing Hierarchies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 370-407, August.
    16. Jan Zabojnik, 2002. "Centralized and Decentralized Decision Making in Organizations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 1-22, January.
    17. Timothy van Zandt, 1999. "Real-Time Decentralized Information Processing as a Model of Organizations with Boundedly Rational Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 633-658.
    18. Timothy Van Zandt & Roy Radner, 1998. "Real-Time Decentralized Information Processing and Returns to Scale," Discussion Papers 1233, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    19. Karl Aiginger & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Specialization and concentration: a note on theory and evidence," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 255-266, September.
    20. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
    21. Canice Prendergast, 2002. "The Tenuous Trade-off between Risk and Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1071-1102, October.
    22. Radner, Roy, 1993. "The Organization of Decentralized Information Processing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1109-1146, September.
    23. Timothy Van Zandt, 1997. "Real-Time Hierarchical Resource Allocation," Discussion Papers 1231, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    24. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 1994. "The Firm as a Communication Network," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 809-839.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hans Peter Grüner, 2010. "Speed and Quality of Collective Decision Making: Incentives for Information Provision," Post-Print hal-00911831, HAL.
    2. Grüner, Hans Peter & Schulte, Elisabeth, 2010. "Speed and quality of collective decision making: Incentives for information provision," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 734-747, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    decision making authority; decentralization; delegation; competition; exports; uncertainty; principal and agent;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L29 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Other

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:587. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cpanuau.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.