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Title: Organizational form and firm performance : an analysis of the structure of large U.K. companies
Author: Steer, Peter S.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3479 4142
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1978
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The thesis attempts to analyse both theoretically and empirically the relationship between firm performance and organizational structure. The chosen measure of performance is profit. To this end Chapter Two reviews the work of Williamson (103, 104, 109) and others on the classification of the structure of large firms. Hypotheses concerning superiority are considered. However, it may be that the structures considered in Chapter Two, are only appropriate to stable environments. Hence Chapter Three develops a simple model of optimal decentralization under differing environmental conditions and considers existing organizational structures that may be most appropriate to the highly unstable environment of research and development. Chapter Four reports empirical analysis involving the use of organizational structure as an independent (dummy) variable. The sample consists of 82 companies in five industries where the environment is considered stable. Hence the classification scheme of Williamson and Bhargava (109) seems to be appropriate. Equations are presented using both price-cost margins and a rate of return on capital as the measure of profitability. The organizational dummy is highly significant in all cases, seemingly indicating that organizational structure matters in determining performance. However little evidence is found of specification bias in previous studies which excluded the organizational dummy. Possible important omissions from the equations are reviewed. A comparison is made of the variations in the results between those equations using price-cost margins as the dependent variable and those using a rate of return. No conclusions are drawn about superiority. In order to exclude non-divisionalized enterprise which cause problems in Chapter Four, Chapter Five considers a sample of 36 conglomerates. However, although positive, the organizational dummy failed in general to reach statistical significance. Possible explanations are considered which, if correct, may require public policy to be essentially ad hoc in nature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor