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Toward Formal Representations of Search Processes and Routines in Organizational Problem Solving. An Assessment of the State of the Art

  • Giovanni Dosi
  • Marco Faillo
  • Luigi Marengo
  • Daniele Moschella

This paper presents a critical overview of some recent attempts at building formal models of organizations as information-processing and problem-solving entities. We distinguish between two classes of models according to two distinct objects of analysis. The first class includes models mainly addressing information processing and learning; the second class includes models focusing upon the relationship between the division of cognitive labor and search process in some problem-solving space. The results begin to highlight important comparative properties regarding the impact on problem-solving efficiency and learning of different forms of hierarchical governance, the dangers of lock-in associated with specific forms of adaptive learning, the relative role of "online" vs. "offline" learning, the impact of the "cognitive maps" which organizations embody, the possible trade-offs between accuracy and speed of convergence associated with different "decomposition schemes", the (ambiguous) role of organizational memory in changing environments. We argue that these are important formal tools towards the development of a comparative institutional analysis focusing on the distinct properties of different forms of organization and accumulation of knowledge

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Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2011/04.

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Date of creation: 24 Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2011/04
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  2. J├╝rgen Mihm & Christoph H. Loch & Dennis Wilkinson & Bernardo A. Huberman, 2010. "Hierarchical Structure and Search in Complex Organizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(5), pages 831-848, May.
  3. Luigi Marengo & Giovanni Dosi & Paolo Legrenzi & Corrado Pasquali, 1999. "The structure of problem-solving knowledge and the structure of organisations," LEM Papers Series 1999/09, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
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  15. Giovanni Dosi & Daniel A. Levinthal & Luigi Marengo, 2003. "Bridging contested terrain: linking incentive-based and learning perspectives on organizational evolution," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 413-436, April.
  16. Luigi Marengo & Giovanni Dosi, 2003. "Division of Labor, Organizational Coordination and Market Mechanism in Collective Problem-Solving," LEM Papers Series 2003/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  17. Levinthal, Daniel A, 1998. "The Slow Pace of Rapid Technological Change: Gradualism and Punctuation in Technological Change," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 217-47, June.
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