We explore the relationship between the volatility of a firm's local environment, the need for coordination among sub-units, and a firm's organizational structure. Using micro-level data on a large retailer, we empirically test and provide support for our hypothesis that a more volatile local environment results in more decentralization only when coordination needs are small or moderate. In contrast, more local volatility is associated with more centralization when coordination needs are high. Our evidence supports theories that argue that centralized organizations are better at coping with local shocks when coordinated adaptation is important.
Dessein, Wouter, Desmond Lo, and Chieko Minami. "Coordination and Organization Design: Theory and Micro-evidence." Columbia Business School, August 10, 2019.
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