Article thumbnail

Modeling Coordination in Organizations and Markets

By Thomas W. Malone


This paper describes a simple set of coordination structures that model certain kinds of information processing involved in organizations and markets. Four generic coordination structures are defined: product hierarchies, functional hierarchies, centralized markets, and decentralized markets. Then tradeoffs among these structures are analyzed in terms of production costs, coordination costs, and vulnerability costs. This model is unusual in that it includes detailed definitions of the structures at a micro-level and mathematical derivations of comparisons among them at a macro-level. In the final section of the paper, several connections are made between these formal results and previous work on organizational design.organizational structure, organization design, coordination, information processing

DOI identifier: 10.1287/mnsc.33.10.1317
OAI identifier:
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)

  • To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.

    Suggested articles