Coordination and Delay in Hierarchies

Andrea Patacconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article studies hierarchical organizations where concerns for fast execution are important and employees must be coordinated to avoid wasteful duplications of effort. Simple conditions are provided for the time spent on coordinating subordinates to be increasing and the span of control to be decreasing as one goes up the hierarchy, with equalities holding if delay is all that matters. When returns to specialization are substantial, the span of control also tends to widen and the hierarchy to flatten as urgency increases. The model suggests that concerns for fast execution may be key in explaining recent trends toward decentralization and delayering in firms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-208
Number of pages19
JournalThe RAND Journal of Economics
Volume40
Issue number1
Early online date15 Jan 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Span of control
Equality
Decentralization
Hierarchical organization
Employees

Cite this

Coordination and Delay in Hierarchies. / Patacconi, Andrea.

In: The RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 40, No. 1, 2009, p. 190-208.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Patacconi, Andrea. / Coordination and Delay in Hierarchies. In: The RAND Journal of Economics. 2009 ; Vol. 40, No. 1. pp. 190-208.
@article{f9236ba4b3694a3d823b964f038f9755,
title = "Coordination and Delay in Hierarchies",
abstract = "This article studies hierarchical organizations where concerns for fast execution are important and employees must be coordinated to avoid wasteful duplications of effort. Simple conditions are provided for the time spent on coordinating subordinates to be increasing and the span of control to be decreasing as one goes up the hierarchy, with equalities holding if delay is all that matters. When returns to specialization are substantial, the span of control also tends to widen and the hierarchy to flatten as urgency increases. The model suggests that concerns for fast execution may be key in explaining recent trends toward decentralization and delayering in firms.",
author = "Andrea Patacconi",
year = "2009",
doi = "10.1111/j.1756-2171.2008.00061.x",
language = "English",
volume = "40",
pages = "190--208",
journal = "The RAND Journal of Economics",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Coordination and Delay in Hierarchies

AU - Patacconi, Andrea

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - This article studies hierarchical organizations where concerns for fast execution are important and employees must be coordinated to avoid wasteful duplications of effort. Simple conditions are provided for the time spent on coordinating subordinates to be increasing and the span of control to be decreasing as one goes up the hierarchy, with equalities holding if delay is all that matters. When returns to specialization are substantial, the span of control also tends to widen and the hierarchy to flatten as urgency increases. The model suggests that concerns for fast execution may be key in explaining recent trends toward decentralization and delayering in firms.

AB - This article studies hierarchical organizations where concerns for fast execution are important and employees must be coordinated to avoid wasteful duplications of effort. Simple conditions are provided for the time spent on coordinating subordinates to be increasing and the span of control to be decreasing as one goes up the hierarchy, with equalities holding if delay is all that matters. When returns to specialization are substantial, the span of control also tends to widen and the hierarchy to flatten as urgency increases. The model suggests that concerns for fast execution may be key in explaining recent trends toward decentralization and delayering in firms.

U2 - 10.1111/j.1756-2171.2008.00061.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1756-2171.2008.00061.x

M3 - Article

VL - 40

SP - 190

EP - 208

JO - The RAND Journal of Economics

JF - The RAND Journal of Economics

IS - 1

ER -