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Who gets to the top?: generalists versus specialists in managerial organizations

Ferreira, Daniel and Sah, Raaj K. (2012) Who gets to the top?: generalists versus specialists in managerial organizations. RAND Journal of Economics, 43 (4). pp. 577-601. ISSN 0741-6261

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1756-2171.12000


We study organizations with individuals whose expertise differ in content and breadth. For example, specialists have deeper expertise than generalists, but in fewer areas. Difficulties in communication depend on who communicates with whom. Our analysis, which is consistent with several empirical findings, shows that: (i) an organization is more valuable and its leader has broader expertise if it is more complex, faces more unpredictability, or communication technologies improve; (ii) those higher in multilayered hierarchies have broader expertise; and (iii) any one-dimensional concept (e.g., talent) cannot explain the assignment of different individuals to different levels in hierarchies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 RAND
Divisions: Finance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2013 16:55
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2024 06:15

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