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Managerial Dilemmas
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  • 3 b/w illus. 15 tables
  • Page extent: 276 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.37 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521457699 | ISBN-10: 0521457696)

In organisation theory a schism has developed between the traditional organisational behaviour literature, based in psychology, sociology and political science, and the more analytically rigorous field of organisational economics. The former stresses the importance of managerial leadership and cooperation among employees, while the latter focuses on the engineering of incentive systems that will induce efficiency and profitability, by rewarding worker self-interest. In this innovative book, Gary Miller bridges the gap between these literatures. He demonstrates that it is impossible to design an incentive system based on self-interest that will effectively discipline all subordinates and superiors and obviate or overcome the roles of political conflict, collective action, and leadership in an organisation. Applying game theory to the analysis of the roles of cooperation and political leadership in organisational hierarchies, he concludes that the organisation whose managers can inspire cooperation and the transcendence of short-term interest in its employees enjoys a competitive advantage.

• There are lots of books on organisational behaviour but none use the analytical techniques applied by Miller or cover both economic and political aspects • A book for business schools in particular • Interdisciplinary appeals economics and business, political science, management studies, sociology, organisation studies


List of tables and figures; Series editors' preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. Why Have Hierarchy?: 1. Market failures and hierarchical solutions: the tension between individual and social rationality; 2. Bargaining failure: coordination, bargaining, and contracts; 3. Voting failure: social choice in a dictatorial hierarchy; Part II. Managerial Dilemmas: 4. Horizontal dilemmas: social choice in a decentralised hierarchy; 5. Vertical dilemmas: piece-rate incentives and credible commitments; 6. Hidden action in hierarchies: principals, agents, and teams; 7. Hidden information in hierarchies: the logical limits of mechanism design; 8. Hierarchical failures and market solutions: can competition create efficient incentives for managers? Part III. Cooperation and Leadership: 9. The possibilities of cooperation: repeated vertical dilemmas; 10. The indeterminacy of cooperation: conventions, culture, and commitments; 11. The political economy of hierarchy: commitment, leadership and property rights; Epilogue: politics, rationality, and efficiency; References; Name index; Subject index.


'Miller gives a very readable and well organized account of the state of the art in the economics of organization. The book can be highly recommended to those who wish to be given a reliable and well-written access to the subject.' Manfred Tietzel, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics

'Interesting reading that is sure to raise new questions.' International Review of Anthropology and Linguistics

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