IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp6635.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Who Lives in the C-Suite? Organizational Structure and the Division of Labor in Top Management

Author

Listed:
  • Guadalupe, Maria

    () (INSEAD)

  • Li, Hongyi

    () (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Wulf, Julie M.

    () (Harvard Business School)

Abstract

This paper shows that top management structures in large US firms radically changed since the mid-1980s. While the number of managers reporting directly to the CEO doubled, the growth was driven primarily by functional managers rather than general managers. Using panel data on senior management positions, we explore the relationship between changes in executive team composition, firm diversification, and IT investments – which arguably alter returns to exploiting synergies through corporate-wide coordination by functional managers in headquarters. We find that the number of functional managers closer to the product ("product" functions i.e., marketing, R&D) increase as firms focus their businesses, while the number of functional managers farther from the product ("administrative" functions i.e., finance, law, HR) increase with IT investments. Finally, we show that general manager pay decreases as functional managers join the executive team suggesting a shift in activities from general to functional managers – a phenomenon we term "functional centralization."

Suggested Citation

  • Guadalupe, Maria & Li, Hongyi & Wulf, Julie M., 2012. "Who Lives in the C-Suite? Organizational Structure and the Division of Labor in Top Management," IZA Discussion Papers 6635, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6635
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp6635.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nicholas Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2014. "The Distinct Effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on Firm Organization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(12), pages 2859-2885, December.
    2. Jan W. Rivkin & Nicolaj Siggelkow, 2003. "Balancing Search and Stability: Interdependencies Among Elements of Organizational Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(3), pages 290-311, March.
    3. Erik Brynjolfsson, 1994. "Information Assets, Technology and Organization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(12), pages 1645-1662, December.
    4. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    5. Jacques Cremer & Luis Garicano & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Language and the Theory of the Firm," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000373, UCLA Department of Economics.
    6. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
    7. Ricardo Alonso & Wouter Dessein & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "When Does Coordination Require Centralization?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 145-179, March.
    8. Wouter Dessein & Luis Garicano & Robert Gertner, 2010. "Organizing for Synergies," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 77-114, November.
    9. Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "The Architecture of Economic Systems: Hierarchies and Polyarchies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 716-727, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Raghuram G. Rajan & Julie Wulf, 2006. "The Flattening Firm: Evidence from Panel Data on the Changing Nature of Corporate Hierarchies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 759-773, November.
    12. Charles W. L. Hill & Michael A. Hitt & Robert E. Hoskisson, 1992. "Cooperative Versus Competitive Structures in Related and Unrelated Diversified Firms," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 3(4), pages 501-521, November.
    13. Jacques Crémer & Luis Garicano & Andrea Prat, 2007. "Language and the Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 373-407.
    14. Ricardo Alonso & Wouter Dessein & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "When Does Coordination Require Centralization? Corrigendum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1195-1196, June.
    15. Maria Guadalupe & Julie Wulf, 2010. "The Flattening Firm and Product Market Competition: The Effect of Trade Liberalization on Corporate Hierarchies," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 105-127, October.
    16. Fan, Joseph P H & Lang, Larry H P, 2000. "The Measurement of Relatedness: An Application to Corporate Diversification," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(4), pages 629-660, October.
    17. Timothy Dunne & Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Kenneth R. Troske, 2004. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion in United States Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 397-430, April.
    18. 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.
    19. Jose M. Liberti & Atif R. Mian, 2009. "Estimating the Effect of Hierarchies on Information Use," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(10), pages 4057-4090, October.
    20. Nicholas S. Argyres, 1999. "The Impact of Information Technology on Coordination: Evidence from the B-2 “Stealth” Bomber," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(2), pages 162-180, April.
    21. 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.
    22. Jay R. Galbraith, 1974. "Organization Design: An Information Processing View," Interfaces, INFORMS, vol. 4(3), pages 28-36, May.
    23. Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Information Production and Capital Allocation: Decentralized versus Hierarchical Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 1891-1921, October.
    24. Ann Bartel & Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2007. "How Does Information Technology Affect Productivity? Plant-Level Comparisons of Product Innovation, Process Improvement, and Worker Skills," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1721-1758.
    25. Alonso, Ricardo & Dessein, Wouter & Matouschek, Niko, 2008. "When does coordination require centralization?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58664, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    26. Argyres, Nicholas S., 1995. "Technology strategy, governance structure and interdivisional coordination," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 337-358, December.
    27. 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.
    28. Galbraith, Jay R., 1971. "Matrix organization designs How to combine functional and project forms," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 29-40, February.
    29. Radner, Roy, 1993. "The Organization of Decentralized Information Processing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1109-1146, September.
    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. repec:eee:fambus:v:9:y:2018:i:2:p:128-141 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Frank Wiengarten & Chris K. Y. Lo & Jessie Y. K. Lam, 2017. "“How does Sustainability Leadership Affect Firm Performance? The Choices Associated with Appointing a Chief Officer of Corporate Social Responsibility”," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 477-493, February.
    3. Dessein, Wouter & Galeotti, Andrea & Santos, Tano, 2013. "Rational Inattention and Organizational Focus," CEPR Discussion Papers 9395, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. MIYAJIMA Hideaki & OGAWA Ryo & USHIJIMA Tatsuo, 2017. "Are Smaller (Larger) Corporate Headquarters Better?," Discussion papers 17004, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    5. Yanhui Wu, 2015. "Organizational Structure and Product Choice in Knowledge-Intensive Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(8), pages 1830-1848, August.
    6. repec:bla:stratm:v:38:y:2017:i:5:p:1121-1133 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Valerie Smeets, 2017. "Can firms oversee more workers with fewer managers?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 333-333, February.
    8. Betzer, André & Ibel, Maximilian & Lee, Hye Seung & Limbach, Peter & Salas, Jesus M., 2016. "Are generalists beneficial to corporate shareholders? Evidence from sudden deaths," CFR Working Papers 16-12, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    9. Alejandro Drexler & Antoinette Schoar, 2014. "Do Relationships Matter? Evidence from Loan Officer Turnover," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(11), pages 2722-2736, November.
    10. André Betzer & Maximilian Ibel & Hye Seung (Grace) Lee & Peter Limbach & Jesus M. Salas, 2017. "Are Generalists Beneficial to Corporate Shareholders? Evidence from Sudden Deaths," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP16009, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    communication; organizational design; functions; centralization; M-form; hierarchy; top management team; information technology; activities; diversification;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis

    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:iza:izadps:dp6635. 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: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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.