Luca Sandrini (Research Center of QSMS, BME) will present: “Protecting secrets with organizational innovations “ on March 14th at 2:30 PM, room QA 406.
I propose a theory of the determinants of organizational innovation which considers it as a device to lower workers’ autonomy in the production process and their ability to collect information about it. In particular, I show that firms may have incentives to increase their control over the workforce to limit spillovers of potentially valuable information if they cannot limit workers’ mobility. I design a theoretical model where firms decide how to organize the workforce to reach a target level of productivity. I assume workers’ effort increases productivity at the organizational level, but it may reduce workers learning if excessive. When firms face the threat of information spillovers regarding their secrets, they are keener to intensify control over the workforce to limit it. From a policy perspective, I show banning laws restricting workers’ mobility might be an incomplete policy, as companies would find alternative mechanisms other than legal protections to defend against appropriation.