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Queues and Hierarchies

Author

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  • Alan Beggs

Abstract

This paper examines the optimal structure of hierarchies when workers differ in the range of tasks they can perform. A hierarchical system may reduce costs by allowing most tasks to be handled by unskilled workers. This may however increase delay for those tasks which must pass through several layers before reaching the appropriate level. The paper characterises an optimal hierarchy when such a trade-off exists.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Beggs, 2000. "Queues and Hierarchies," Economics Series Working Papers 34, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:34
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper34.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Àlex Arenas & Antonio Cabrales & Leon Danon & Albert Díaz-Guilera & Roger Guimerà & Fernando Vega-Redondo, 2010. "Optimal information transmission in organizations: search and congestion," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 14(1), pages 75-93, March.
    2. Dimitri Vayanos, 2003. "The Decentralization of Information Processing in the Presence of Interactions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 667-695.
    3. Markus Reitzig & Boris Maciejovsky, 2015. "Corporate hierarchy and vertical information flow inside the firm—a behavioral view," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(13), pages 1979-1999, December.
    4. Andrea Patacconi, 2005. "Optimal Coordination in Hierarchies," Economics Series Working Papers 238, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. van den Brink, J.R. & Ruys, P.H.M., 2005. "Technological Change, Wages and Firm Size," Discussion Paper 2005-022, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    6. Cho, Myeonghwan, 2010. "Efficient structure of organization with heterogeneous workers," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 1125-1139, November.
    7. Kirchmaier, Isadora, 2014. "Service Organizations: Customer Contact and Incentives of Knowledge Managers," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100418, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Szu-Wen Chou, 2002. "Flattened Resource Allocation, Hierarch Design and the Boundaries of the Firm," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000056, David K. Levine.
    9. Benjamin Golub & R. McAfee, 2011. "Firms, queues, and coffee breaks: a flow model of corporate activity with delays," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 15(1), pages 59-89, March.
    10. Daron Acemoglu & Mohamed Mostagir & Asuman Ozdaglar, 2014. "Managing Innovation in a Crowd," NBER Working Papers 19852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    queues; hierarchies; organizations; submodularity;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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