Complex organizations accomplish tasks through many steps of collaboration among workers. Corporate culture supports collaborations by establishing norms and reducing misunderstandings. Because a strong corporate culture relies on costly, voluntary investments by many workers, we model it as an organizational public good, subject to standard free-riding problems, which become severe in large organizations.
We model the production of complex goods in a large supply network. Each firm sources several essential inputs through relationships with other firms. Individual supply relationships are at risk of idiosyncratic failure, which threatens to disrupt production. To protect against this, firms multisource inputs and strategically invest to make relationships stronger, trading off the cost of investment against the benefits of increased robustness. A supply network is called fragile if aggregate output is very sensitive to small aggregate shocks.