Professor of Entrepreneurship
Organizational Structure ; Organization Design; Information Processing; Decision Making; Behavioral Theory of the Firm; Hierarchy; Interdependence
Beginning with Simon (1947) - and motivated by an interest in the effect of formal organizational structure on decision making - a large body of research has examined how organizations process information. Yet, research in this area is extremely diverse and fragmented.The authors offer a retrospective of past research to summarize their collective knowledge, as well as identify and advance new concerns and questions. In doing so, they identify three critical issues: a division between an aggregation perspective and a constraint perspective of structure; little focus on informational sources of conflict; and uneven treatment of the various stages of decision making.The authors then offer a roadmap for future research that elaborates the role of organizational structure in decision making. In this endeavor, they offer an ecological perspective of information processing that addresses the issues and provides opportunities to expand research in new directions.