The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origin and Growth of Firms
62 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 1998
Date Written: November 9, 1998
In the formative stages of their businesses, entrepreneurs have to provide incentives for employees to protect, rather than steal, the source of organizational rents. We study how the entrepreneur's response to this problem determines the organization'sinternal structure, growth,anditseventualsize. Large, steep hierarchies will predominate in physical-capital in-tensive industries, and will have seniority-based promotion policies. By contrast, at hierarchies will prevail in human-capital intensive industries and will have up-or-out promotion systems. Furthermore, at hierarchies will have more distinctive technologies or cultures than steep hierarchies. The model points to some essential differences between organized hierarchies and markets.
JEL Classification: D23, L22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation