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Organizational Flexibility and Cooperative Task Allocation among Agents

Jacques Lawarree and Dongsoo Shin ()

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), 2005, vol. 161, issue 4, 621-635

Abstract: We compare rigid and flexible organizations when side contracting among agents is possible. Within a rigid organization, each agent can produce only one component of the final product, whereas within a flexible organization, the agents can reallocate their tasks during the production period. In our model, the principal can only observe the joint output produced by the agents. Our analysis reveals that within a flexible organization, side transfers are exchanged between the agents in equilibrium, and not only an efficient agent but also an inefficient agent may acquire a rent. Yet, the principal's payoff is higher when the organization is flexible, as the agents' rent-seeking behavior generates a more efficient production technology.

JEL-codes: D82 L23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005
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