204 research outputs found

    Division of Labour and Social Coordination Modes : A simple simulation model

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    This paper presents a preliminary investigation of the relationship between the process of functional division of labour and the modes in which activities and plans are coordinated. We consider a very simple production process: a given heap of bank-notes has to be counted by a group of accountants. Because of limited individual capabilities and/or the possibilities of mistakes and external disturbances, the task has to be divided among several accountants and a hierarchical coordination problem arises. We can imagine several different ways of socially implementing coordination of devided tasks. 1) a central planner can compute the optimal architecture of the system; 2) a central planner can promote quantity adjustments by moving accountants from hierarchical levels where there exist idle resources to levels where resources are insufficient; 3) quasi-market mechanisms can use quantity or price signals for promoting decentralized adjustments. By means of a simple simulation model, based on Genetic Algorithms and Classifiers Systems, we can study the dynamic efficiency properties of each coordination mode and in particular their capability, speed and cost of adaptation to changing environmental situations (i.e. variations of the size of the task and/or variations of agents' capabilities). Such interesting issues as returns to scale, specialization and workers exploitation can be easily studied in the same model

    Towards a Characterisation of Assets and Knowledge Created in Technological Agreements Some Evidence from the Automobile-Robotics Sector

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    This paper tries to bring new insights on the dynamics of inter-firm by focusing on cognitive and organisational dimensions. We consider the knowledge bases created inside the agreement and the characteristics of such knowledge bases (such as tacitness, level of generality, degree of centralisation...). The nature of assets for supporting this creation is also essential for the redeployability of knowledge created. We began by a brief review of some problems encountered by transactions cost economics and present some case studies of agreements between firms in the automobile and robotics sector. After having presented a taxonomy of knowledge and assets involved in such agreements, we bring some new discussion on the exploration/exploitation's dilemma. We argue finally that our taxonomy may be fruitful for a better understanding of the dynamic of firm boudaries by trying to go deeper into the "black box" of agreements.Inter-firm relations, automobile industry, technological agreements

    On the Convergence of Evolutionary and Behavioral Theories of Organizations: A Tentative Roadmap

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    The behavioral theory of the firm has been acknowledged as one of the most fundamental pillars on which evolutionary theorizing in economics has been built. Nelson and Winter’s 1982 book is pervaded by the philosophy and concepts previously developed by Cyert, March and Simon. On the other hand, some behavioral notions, such as bounded rationality, though isolated from the context, are also at the heart of some economic theories of institutions such as transaction costs economics. In this paper, after briefly reviewing the basic concepts of evolutionary economics, we discuss its implications for the theory of organizations (and business firms in particular), and we suggest that evolutionary theory should coherently embrace an “embeddedness” view of organizations, whereby the latter are not simply efficient solutions to informational problems arising from contract incompleteness and uncertainty, but also shape the “visions of the world”, interaction networks, behavioral patterns and, ultimately, the very identity of the agents. After outlining the basic features of this perspective we analyze its consequences and empirical relevance.

    Social choice on complex objects: A geometric approach

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    Marengo and Pasquali (2008) present a model of object construction in majority voting and show that, in general, by appropriate changes of such bundles, different social outcomes may be obtained. In this paper we extend and generalize this approach by providing a geometric model of individual preferences and social aggregation based on hyperplanes and their arrangements. As an application of this model we give a necessary condition for existence of a local social optimum. Moreover we address the question if a social decision rule depends also upon the number of voting agents. More precisely: are there social decision rules that can be obtained by an odd (even) number of voting agent which cannot be obtained by only three (two) voting agent? The answer is negative. Indeed three (or two) voting agent can produce all possible social decision rules.Social choice; object construction power; agenda power; intransitive cycles; arrangements; graph theory.

    The construction of choice. A computational voting model.

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    Social choice models usually assume that choice is among exogenously given and non decomposable alternatives. Often, on the contrary, choice is among objects that are constructed by individuals or institutions as complex bundles made of many interdependent components. In this paper we present a model of object construction in majority voting and show that, in general, by appropriate changes of such bundles, different social outcomes may be obtained, depending upon initial conditions and agenda, intransitive cycles and median voter dominance may be made appear or disappear, and that, finally, decidability may be ensured by increasing manipulability or viceversa.Voting, Social choice, Agenda power, Power, Voting paradox, Median voter

    Social choice among complex objects

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    We present a geometric model of social choice when the latter takes place among bundles of interdependent elements, that we will call objects. We show that the outcome of the social choice process is highly dependent on the way these bundles are formed. By bundling and unbundling the same set of constituent elements an authority has the power of determine the social outcome. We provide necessary and sufficient conditions under which a social outcome may be a local or global optimum for a set of objects, and we show that, by appropriately redefining the set of objects, intransitive cycles may be broken and the median voter may be turned into a loser.social choice; object construction power; agenda power; intransitive cycles; median voter
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