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Andrea Galeotti, University of Essex Print
Tuesday, 06 November 2012, 14:00 - 15:15

Andrea Galeotti, University of Essex

Rational inattention and organisational focus.

Abstract: We examine the allocation of scarce attention in team production. Each team member is in charge of a specialized task, which must be adapted to a privately observed shock and coordinated with other tasks. Coordination requires that agents pay attention to each other, but attention is in limited supply. We show how organizational focus and leadership naturally arise as the result of a fundamental complementarity between the attention de- voted to an agent and the amount of initiative taken by that agent (the adaptiveness of his task). At the optimum, all attention is evenly allocated to a select number of focal tasks or "leaders". When attention becomes more scarce, there are fewer leaders, but they often take more initiative. The organization then excels in a small number of focal tasks at the expense of all others. Our results shed light on the importance of leadership, strategy and "core competences" in team production, as well as new trends in organization design.


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