Organizational Languages

12 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2004

See all articles by Birger Wernerfelt

Birger Wernerfelt

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

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Abstract

This paper is concerned with communication within a team of players trying to coordinate in response to information dispersed among them. The problem is nontrivial because they cannot communicate all information instantaneously but have to send longer or shorter sequences of messages, using coarse codes. We focus on the design of these codes and show that members may gain compatibility advantages by using identical codes and that this can support the existence of several, more or less efficient, symmetric equilibria. Asymmetric equilibria may exist only if coordination across different sets of members is of sufficiently different importance. The results are consistent with the stylized fact that firms differ even within industries and that coordination between divisions is harder than coordination inside divisions.

Suggested Citation

Wernerfelt, Birger, Organizational Languages. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 461-472, September 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=584204

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