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Bureaucracy as a Mechanism to Generate Information


Firms that maintain no formal record of actions and events would hardly be considered well managed. Yet, organizations that require the recording of actions and the filing of reports are often labeled bureaucratic' and inefficient. This paper argues that the thin line between efficient management practices and inefficient bureaucracy is crossed to curb managerial agency costs in a multi-layer hierarchy. The model predicts that bureaucracy increases with the frequency of managerial turnover, and it establishes a link between bureaucracy, incentive schemes, and leverage in a cross-section of firms.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago in its series CRSP working papers with number 477.

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Date of creation: Apr 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wop:chispw:477
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  1. Paul R. Milgrom., 1987. "Employment Contracts, Influence Activities and Efficient Organization Design," Economics Working Papers 8741, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Joseph E. Stiglitz & Aaron S. Edlin, 1992. "Discouraging Rivals: Managerial Rent-Seeking and Economic Inefficiencies," NBER Working Papers 4145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  4. Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
  5. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1990. " Capital Structure and the Informational Role of Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 321-49, June.
  6. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Efficiency of Equity in Organizational Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 154-59, May.
  7. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
  8. Warner, Jerold B. & Watts, Ross L. & Wruck, Karen H., 1988. "Stock prices and top management changes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 461-492, January.
  9. Gilson, Stuart C., 1989. "Management turnover and financial distress," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 241-262, December.
  10. repec:cep:stitep:/1996/303 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Denis, David J & Denis, Diane K, 1995. " Performance Changes Following Top Management Dismissals," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-57, September.
  12. Prendergast, Canice J, 1995. "A Theory of Responsibility in Organizations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 387-400, July.
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