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Incentives, reputation and the allocation of authority

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  • Englmaier, Florian
  • Filipi, Ales
  • Singh, Ravi

Abstract

We address the question how much authority a principal should delegate to a manager with conflicting interests and uncertain ability in a context in which the manager has both compensation-based and reputational incentives. The optimal level of authority balances the value of the manager's decision-making expertise against the cost of ensuring that the manager uses his discretion productively. Reputational incentives reduce the necessary monetary incentives to discourage purely opportunistic behavior, but may cause the manager to pursue conservative courses of action to preserve his reputation. This undermines the benefits of delegating control, leading to decreased managerial authority and stronger monetary incentives. When the principal contracts with the manager repeatedly, she delegates additional authority early in the relationship in order to screen for managers of high ability. Decentralization of decision making may thus occur even if the static benefits from decentralization are negative. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Suggested Citation

  • Englmaier, Florian & Filipi, Ales & Singh, Ravi, 2010. "Incentives, reputation and the allocation of authority," Munich Reprints in Economics 22012, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:22012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro De Chiara & Ester Manna, 2019. "Delegation with a Reciprocal Agent," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(3), pages 651-695.
    2. Miriam Schütte & Philipp C. Wichardt, 2012. "Delegation in Long-Term Relationships," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 480, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Kim, Doyoung, 2017. "Reputation Concerns And Authority In Organizations," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 58(2), pages 89-106, December.
    4. Englmaier, Florian & Filipi, Ales & Singh, Ravi, 2010. "Incentives, reputation and the allocation of authority," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 413-427, November.
    5. Miriam Schütte & Philipp Christoph Wichardt, 2013. "Delegation and Interim Performance Evaluation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4193, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • 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
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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