Desmond Lo, University of Santa Clara

Séminaire académique La Chaire Recherche

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A Dauphine (A 409) ou sur Teams

The Management of Knowledge Work

(Wouter Dessein, Desmond Lo, Ruo Shangguan, & Hideo Owan)

We explore the role of management in knowledge-intensive work. Our theory posits that the function of the manager mainly consists of (i) ex ante coordination in terms of specifying and delegating tasks to her team and (ii) ex post coordination of the team's execution of those tasks as unexpected events unfold. Consistent with this view, and using micro-level data from architectural design teams, we find that a manager's involvement in a project decreases as the project progresses. Such a decrease is more pronounced when the manager has better ex ante information about the project. We also find that a more senior manager takes on bigger projects, works with larger teams, but is less involved by increased delegation. Our study highlights the importance of coordination and rational inattention in organizing knowledge workers in modern economies.

 

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