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Why organizations fail: models and cases

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  • Garicano, Luis
  • Rayo, Luis

Abstract

Organizations fail due to incentive problems (agents do not want to act in the organization's interests) and bounded rationality problems (agents do not have the necessary information to do so). This survey uses recent advances in organizational economics to illuminate organizational failures along these two dimensions. We combine reviews of the literature with simple models and case discussions. Specifically, we consider failures related to the allocation of authority and short-termism, both of which are instances of 'multitasking problems'; communication failures in the presence of both soft and hard information due to incentive misalignments; resistance to change due to vested interests and rigid cultures; and failures related to the allocation of talent and miscommunication due to bounded rationality. We find that the organizational economics literature provides parsimonious explanations for a large range of economically significant failures.

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  • Garicano, Luis & Rayo, Luis, 2015. "Why organizations fail: models and cases," CEPR Discussion Papers 10395, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10395
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    Cited by:

    1. Aghion, Philippe & Bloom, Nicholas & Lucking, Brian & Sadun, Raffaella & Van Reenen, John, 2017. "Turbulence, Firm Decentralization and Growth in Bad Times," IZA Discussion Papers 10706, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Fromenteau, Philippe & Schymik, Jan & Tscheke, Jan, 2016. "Import Competition and the Composition of Firm Investments," Discussion Papers in Economics 29654, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Cristini, Annalisa & Origo, Federica & Pinoli, Sara, 2017. "The healthy fright of losing a good one for a bad one," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 129-144.
    4. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:7:p:1753-77 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Christos Bilanakos & John S. Heywood & John Sessions & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2016. "Delegation and worker training," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 06-2016, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    6. repec:spr:eujhec:v:19:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10198-017-0891-9 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    organizational economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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