Synopses & Reviews
The main emphasis in this work is on answers to such questions as: Can organizations operate efficiently or is there inevitably a loss of control? What are the principles of efficient organizational design? Do organizations operate under constant, increasing or decreasing returns to scale? In his preface Prof. J. Tinbergen writes:"In this book Professor Beckmann, with considerable ingenuity, offers a mathematical analysis of productive organizations in the widest sense... Among the organizations studied hierarchies play a predominant role and are compared with such forms of cooperation as partnerships and "ladders". A number of well-known basic concepts such as span of control, rank, line vs. staff and others serve as starting points. His analysis leads to such refinements as balance, regular or degenerated organization patterns and interesting comparisons of the efficiency of various structures... Several of the results obtained take simpler forms for very large hierarchies. The renewed interest, shown in political discussions, in the bureaucratization of both large enterprises and government machinery makes Dr. Beckmann's work highly topical". "Beckmann's microeconomic organisation theory presents...without a doubt, a very fine, formally closed and surprisingly informative conception" (Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft 9/1984, original in German).
In revising the Tinbergen Lectures I have expanded and restructured the material in an attempt to make the book more readable and more interesting. I have also tried to show more clearly its relevance to managerial and organizational practice. Some mathematical derivations have been moved to appendices. Certain sections that may be skipped in a first reading have been starred. Points that should be of interest to management include - the nature and necessity of rank (4. 1, 4. 2, 4. 4) rank assignment by counting up or down (4. 3) defining an organization's task (6. 2) calculating the required size of an organization (6. 3) - allocating supervisors in the short run (6. 7) when uniform spans of control are desirable (6. 8) - how to estimate an organization's implicit span of control (7) determining the minimal ranks in supervision (8. 3) - the advantage of flexible department lines (8. 4) measuring the leanness of an organization (8. 5) the relationship between average wage and unit labor cost (10. 2) job allocation in the short run (10. 4) - calculating the cost of supervision for particular jobs (10. 5) - recognizing economic choices in substituting managers for operatives or vice versa (11) - determining the optimal size of a research team (12) VI - setting targets (13. 1) - budgeting under full information (13. 2) - budgeting under imperfect information (13. 3) - sources of information loss (14.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction.- Rank.- Perfect Management.- Productivity and Structure.- Advantage and Motivation.- Conclusion.- Selected Bibliography.- Name Index.- Subject Index.