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Codes in Organizations

Author

Listed:
  • Crémer, Jacques
  • Garicano, Luis
  • Prat, Andrea

Abstract

A code is a technical language that members of an organization learn in order to communicate among themselves and with members of other organizations. What are the features of an optimal code and how does it interact with the characteristics of the organization? This Paper develops a simple communication model and characterizes optimal codes. There exists a fundamental trade-off between choosing a specialized code that simplifies internal communication and a common code that facilitates external communication. We identify the drivers of this trade-off and we study the strategic aspects of code adoption. The results are used to interpret some existing organizational structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Crémer, Jacques & Garicano, Luis & Prat, Andrea, 2004. "Codes in Organizations," CEPR Discussion Papers 4205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa & Vives, Xavier, 2009. "Why and where do headquarters move?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 168-186, March.
    2. Gavilan, Angel, 2012. "Wage inequality, segregation by skill and the price of capital in an assignment model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 116-137.
    3. Luis Garicano & Rosa M. Lastra, 2010. "Towards a New Architecture for Financial Stability: Seven Principles," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 597-621, September.
    4. Hu, Y. & Hendrikse, G.W.J., 2007. "Allocation of Decision Rights in Fruit and Vegetable Contracts in China," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2007-077-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    5. Ángel Gavilán, 2006. "Wage inequality, segregation by skill and the price of capital in an assignment model," Working Papers 0613, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    6. Gomes, Orlando, 2008. "Interaction in organizations: A dynamic choice of codes," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1570-1583, August.
    7. Luis Garicano & Richard A. Posner, 2005. "Intelligence Failures: An Organizational Economics Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 151-170, Fall.
    8. Garicano, Luis & Prat, Andrea, 2011. "Organizational Economics with Cognitive Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 8372, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    coding; communication cost; organization theory;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights

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