Abuse of Authority and Hierarchical Communication

39 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2001

See all articles by Michael Raith

Michael Raith

University of Rochester - Simon Business School

Guido Friebel

Goethe University Frankfurt; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2001

Abstract

If managers and their subordinates have the same basic qualifications, then organizations can benefit from replacing unproductive superiors with more productive subordinates. In response to this threat, superiors may deliberately recruit unproductive subordinates, or abuse their personnel authority in other ways, in order to protect themselves. We show that the common practice of requiring intra-firm communication to pass through a "chain of command" can be an effective way of securing the incentives for superiors to recruit and develop the best possible subordinates. We discuss alternative ways to prevent the abuse of authority and general implications of our analysis for organizational design. We also present supporting evidence from the literature on human resource management and organizational behavior.

Keywords: Hierarchies, Strategic Recruiting, Internal Labor Markets, Abuse of Authority, Chain of Command

JEL Classification: D82, J41, M12

Suggested Citation

Raith, Michael and Friebel, Guido, Abuse of Authority and Hierarchical Communication (August 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=280010 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.280010

Michael Raith (Contact Author)

University of Rochester - Simon Business School ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States
585-275-8380 (Phone)
585-273-1140 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://works.bepress.com/michael_raith/

Guido Friebel

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Gr├╝neburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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