Abuse of Authority and Hierarchical Communication

Posted: 15 Jan 2004

See all articles by Guido Friebel

Guido Friebel

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

Michael Raith

University of Rochester - Simon Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

If managers and their subordinates have the same basic qualifications, organizations can benefit from replacing unproductive superiors with more productive subordinates. This threat may induce superiors to deliberately recruit unproductive subordinates, or abuse their personnel authority in other ways, to protect themselves. We show that requiring intra-firm communication to pass through a chain of command can be an effective way to provide superiors with an incentive to recruit 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

Friebel, Guido and Raith, Michael, Abuse of Authority and Hierarchical Communication. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=486263

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

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/

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