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Firm Structure, Search and Environmental Complexity

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  • Nobuyuki Hanaki
  • Jason Barr

Abstract

In this paper we explore the information processing problem of the firm by modeling the firm as type of network, which is comprised of two kinds of agents, 'searchers' and 'managers.' The searchers explore the external environment and report the information to the managers. We explore the role of centralization/decentralization in organizational structure to see how it affects firm performance. Centralization is defined in terms of the level at which decisions are made. We assume the information processing organization is arranged hierarchically, but that decisions can be made at different levels, and thus centralization directly relates to the quantity of information used in making a decision. We model the external environment as an NK landscape. Via simulations, we explore which type of organizational structure and level of decision making maximizes firm profits, given the complexity of the environment

Suggested Citation

  • Nobuyuki Hanaki & Jason Barr, 2005. "Firm Structure, Search and Environmental Complexity," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 222, Society for Computational Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf5:222
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Langlois, Richard N., 2002. "Modularity in technology and organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 19-37, September.
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    12. Sadao Sakakibara & Barbara B. Flynn & Roger G. Schroeder & William T. Morris, 1997. "The Impact of Just-in-Time Manufacturing and Its Infrastructure on Manufacturing Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(9), pages 1246-1257, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Organizational Structure; Decentralization; NK Landscape; Firm Search;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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