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Knowledge creation and control in organizations

  • Diego Puga
  • Daniel Trefler

The incremental innovations that underly much of modern economic growth typically involve changes to one or more components of a complex product. This creates a tension. On the one hand, a principal would like an agent to contribute innovative components. On the other hand, ironing out incompatibilities between interdependent components can be a drain on the principal's energies. The principal can conserve her energies by tightly controlling the innovation process, but this may inadvertently stifle the agent's incentive to innovate. We show precisely how this tension betweencreating knowledge and controlling knowledge shapes organizational forms.The novel concepts introduced are illustrated with case studies of the flatpanel cathode ray tube industry and Boeing's recent location decisions.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number dpuga-02-01.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:dpuga-02-01
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  15. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2008. "Power inside the firm and the market: A general equilibrium approach," Munich Reprints in Economics 19255, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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