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Task Assignment and Organizational Form

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  • Kerstin Puschke

    () (Free University of Berlin, Department of Economics)

Abstract

This paper shows that a firm prefers a process-based task assignment compared to a function based one if the tasks are from functional areas which are neither too complementary nor too substitutable. We consider several projects with contributions from several functional areas. The organization can be structured along processes like product lines (M-form) or along functional areas like marketing or production (U-form). The U-form enables cost savings due to specialization or scale economies. We show that the more effective incentives under the M-form might outweigh these savings if the functions are neither too complementary nor too substitutable.

Suggested Citation

  • Kerstin Puschke, "undated". "Task Assignment and Organizational Form," Papers 033, Departmental Working Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:bef:lsbest:033
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    File URL: http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/%7Elsbester/papers/puschke_task.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
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    3. 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.
    4. Alfred D. Chandler, 1969. "Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262530090, January.
    5. Wouter Dessein & Luis Garicano & Robert Gertner, 2010. "Organizing for Synergies," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 77-114, November.
    6. Eric Maskin & Yingyi Qian & Chenggang Xu, 2000. "Incentives, Information, and Organizational Form," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 359-378.
    7. Yingyi Qian & Gerard Roland & Chenggang Xu, 2006. "Coordination and Experimentation in M-Form and U-Form Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 366-402, April.
    8. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    9. Besanko, David & Régibeau, Pierre & Rockett, Katharine, 2000. "A Multi-Task Principal-Agent Approach to Organizational Form," CEPR Discussion Papers 2443, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    11. 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.
    12. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emilie Dargaud & Armel Jacques, 2015. "Hidden collusion by decentralization: firm organization and antitrust policy," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 153-176, March.
    2. Koulovatianos, Christos & Schrder, Carsten & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2009. "Nonmarket Household Time and the Cost of Children," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 42-51.
    3. Te Bao & Yongqin Wang, 2012. "Incomplete contract, bargaining and optimal divisional structure," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 81-96, September.
    4. Schöttner, Anja & Rohlfing-Bastian, Anna, 2015. "Optimal Allocation of Decision-Making Authority and the Provision of Incentives under Uncertainty," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113200, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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