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date: 20 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

By bringing together multiple workers, organizations can perform tasks that are outside the reach of any individual. In order to be productive, however, workers must coordinate their actions. Often this requires communicating information that is dispersed throughout the organization, but communication is time-consuming and costly. As Arrow (1974) noted, given the importance of communication both as an opportunity and as a cost, organizations will strive to optimize information flows between workers. As a result, communication patterns within an organization will not be random but will be shaped by the goals of the organization. An attention network describes how communication flows and, as a result, how decisions are made within the organization. This chapter reviews optimal and equilibrium attention networks.

Keywords: attention networks, organizations, information flows, communication, coordination, influence, rational inattention

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