经济学人:公司理论:科斯集结令(05)

When output is the result of a team effort, it is hard to put the necessary tasks out to the market.

当产出是团队努力的结果时,把必要的任务交与市场很难。

That is because it is tricky to measure the contribution of each member to the finished work and to then allocate their rewards accordingly.

这是因为,衡量每一位成员对已经完成的工作的贡献、然后再相应地分配他们的酬劳很棘手。

So the firm is needed to act as both co-ordinator and monitor of a team.

因此,公司是为同时充当合作者和团队监督者所需。

If a team of workers requires a firm as monitor, might that also be true for teams of suppliers?

如果说员工团队需要公司作为监督者,那么,这对供给方团队也是正确的吗?

In some cases, firms are indeed vertically integrated, meaning that suppliers of inputs and producers of final goods are under the same ownership.

在某些案例中,公司实际上是被垂直地整合起来的,这意味着投入的供给方和最终产品的生产者处于同一所有权之下。

But in other cases, suppliers and their customers are separate entities.

但是,在其他案例中,供给方和他们的客户是单独的实体。

When is one set-up right and not the other?

一种组织架构何时是正确的,另一种何时是不正确的呢?

A paper published in 1986 by Sanford Grossman and Mr Hart sharpened the thinking on this.

桑福特·格罗斯曼(Sanford Grossman)和哈特在1968年发表的一篇论文让这方面的思考变得又深入了一步。

They distinguished between two types of rights over a firm's assets (its plant, machinery, brands, client lists and so on) : specific rights, which can be contracted out, and residual rights, which come with ownership.

他们把两种类型的公司资产权(厂房、机器、品牌、客户名单等等)区分了开来:特殊权利,这是可以通过合同被外包出去的;剩余权利,这是随所有权而来的。

Where it becomes costly for a company to specify all that it wants from a supplier, it might make sense to acquire it in order to claim the residual rights (and the profits) from ownership.

对于公司来说,当列出它想要从供给方得到的一切变得代价高昂时,收购供给方以宣称来自所有权的剩余权利(和利润)或许是有意义的。

But, as Messrs Grossman and Hart noted, something is also lost through the merger.

但是,正如格罗斯曼和哈特所指出的那样,某些东西通过收购也丧失了。

The supplier's incentive to innovate and to control costs vanishes, because he no longer owns the residual rights.

供给方的创新和控制成本的动力消失殆尽,因为他不再拥有剩余权利。

To illustrate this kind of relationship, they used the example of an insurance firm that pays a commission to an agent for selling policies.

为阐明这种关系,他们使用了一家为出售保单支付给代理人一笔佣金的保险公司的例子。

To encourage the agent to find high-quality clients, which are more likely to renew a policy, the firm defers some portion of the agent's pay and ties it to the rate of policy renewals.

为鼓励代理人发现更有可能续保的高质量客户,公司推迟支付代理人的一部分工资,并且还将其与保单续保率捆绑在一起。

The agent is thus induced to work hard to find good clients.

这样,代理人就受到了努力发掘好客户的诱惑。

But there is a drawback.

但是,这有一个缺陷。

The insurance firm now has an incentive of its own to shirk.

如今,保险公司自身有一种逃避责任的动力。

While the agent is busting a gut to find the right sort of customers, the firm can take advantage by, say, cutting its spending on advertising its policies, raising their price or lowering their quality.

当代理人拼命工作以发现正确类型的客户时,保险公司可以通过消减宣传保单的费用,提高价格或者降低质量等方式占便宜。

There is no set-up in which the incentives of firm and agent can be perfectly aligned.

不存在公司和代理人的动力可以在其中得到完美调和的组织架构。

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