Collective decision making and the limits on the organization's size

Mark Gradstein, Shmuel Nitzan, Jacob Paroush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This essay clarifies the relationship between the "technology" of organizational decision making and the limits on the size of the group of decision makers within the organization. Viewing the number and quality of decision makers, and the time required for decision making as inputs in the production of collective decisions, we show that there exist generic organizational forces that offset the incentive to unlimited expansion of the organization. Even in a long run competitive environment with perfect markets for managers, unlimited duplication of the firm may not be economically feasible. We first analyze in a general setting and then illustrate in two stylized examples, the interplay between individual decisional quality, time required for an individual decision, direct and indirect costs of decision making, and the optimal number of decision makers (for example, management size).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-291
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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