NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Jonathan R. Clark

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Working Papers

January 2013Learning from Customers: Individual and Organizational Effects in Outsourced Radiological Services
with Robert S. Huckman, Bradley R. Staats: w18723
The ongoing fragmentation of work has resulted in a narrowing of tasks into smaller pieces that can be sent outside the organization and, in many instances, around the world. This trend is shifting the boundaries of organizations and leading to increased outsourcing. Though the consolidation of volume may lead to productivity improvement, little is known about how this shift toward outsourcing influences learning by providers of outsourced services. When producing output, the content of the knowledge gained can vary from one unit to the next. One dimension along which output can vary —a dimension with particular relevance in outsourcing—is the end customer for whom it is produced. The performance benefits of such customer experience remain largely unexamined. We explore this dimension of v...
April 2011Broadening Focus: Spillovers, Complementarities and Specialization in the Hospital Industry
with Robert Huckman: w16937
The long-standing argument that focused operations outperform others stands in contrast to claims about the benefits of broader operational scope. The performance benefits of focus are typically attributed to reduced complexity, lower uncertainty, and the development of specialized expertise, while the benefits of greater breadth are linked to the economies of scope achieved by sharing common resources, such as advertising or production capacity, across activities. Within the literature on corporate strategy, this tension between focus and breadth is reconciled by the concept of related diversification (i.e., a firm with multiple operating units, each specializing in distinct but related activities). We consider whether there are similar benefits to related diversification within an operat...

Published: Clark, Jonathan R., and Robert S. Huckman. "Broadening Focus: Spillovers, Complementarities and Specialization in the Hospital Industry." Management Science 58, no. 4 (April 2012): 708–722.

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