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Organizing for Synergies

Author

Listed:
  • Dessein, Wouter
  • Garicano, Luis
  • Gertner, Robert

Abstract

Multi-product firms create value by integrating functional activities such as manufacturing across business units. This integration often requires making functional managers responsible for implementing standardization, thereby limiting business-unit managers’ authority. Realizing synergies then involves a tradeoff between motivation and coordination. Motivating managers requires narrowly-focused incentives around their area of responsibility. Functional managers become biased toward excessive standardization and business-unit managers may misrepresent local market information to limit standardization. As a result, integration may be value-destroying when motivation is sufficiently important. Providing functional managers only with "dotted-line control" (where business-unit managers can block standardization) has limited ability to improve the tradeoff.

Suggested Citation

  • Dessein, Wouter & Garicano, Luis & Gertner, Robert, 2007. "Organizing for Synergies," CEPR Discussion Papers 6019, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    communication; coordination; incentives; incomplete contracts; merger implementation; organizational design; scope of the firm; task allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

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