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Technological Development and the Boundaries of the Firm: A Knowledge-Based Examination in Semiconductor Manufacturing

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  • Jeffrey T. Macher

    ()
    (Robert E. McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 20057)

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    Abstract

    This paper examines how the knowledge-based view (KBV) can be applied to firm boundary decisions and the performance implications of those decisions. At the center of the paper is a theoretical and empirical examination of how firms most efficiently organize to solve different types of problems related to technological development, using the semiconductor industry as the empirical setting. Measures that capture important dimensions of performance support the proposition that organization affects performance in problem solving related to knowledge development. Integrated firms realize performance advantages when problem solving in technological development is ill structured and complex, while the same is true for specialized firms when problem solving in technological development is well structured and simple. Performance differences also arise from the presence of scale economies and scope economies.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1060.0511
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 52 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 6 (June)
    Pages: 826-843

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:52:y:2006:i:6:p:826-843

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    Related research

    Keywords: knowledge-based view; problem solving; firm boundaries; organizational boundaries;

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    Cited by:
    1. Michael D. Ryall & Rachelle C. Sampson, 2009. "Formal Contracts in the Presence of Relational Enforcement Mechanisms: Evidence from Technology Development Projects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(6), pages 906-925, June.
    2. Felin, Teppo & Zenger, Todd R., 2014. "Closed or open innovation? Problem solving and the governance choice," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 914-925.
    3. Ciftci, Mustafa & Cready, William M., 2011. "Scale effects of R&D as reflected in earnings and returns," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 62-80, June.
    4. Nicolai J. Foss, 2006. "The Emerging Knowledge Governance Approach Challenges and Characteristics," DRUID Working Papers 06-10, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    5. Sharon Novak & Scott Stern, 2007. "How Does Outsourcing Affect Performance Dynamics? Evidence from the Automobile Industry," NBER Working Papers 13235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lichtenthaler, Ulrich, 2009. "The role of corporate technology strategy and patent portfolios in low-, medium- and high-technology firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 559-569, April.
    7. Nickerson, Jack A. & Yen, C. James & Mahoney, Joseph T., 2011. "Exploring the Problem-Finding and Problem-Solving Approach for Designing Organizations," Working Papers 11-0107, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    8. Brandon Pope & Andrew Johnson, 2013. "Returns to scope: a metric for production synergies demonstrated for hospital production," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 239-250, October.
    9. Brahm, Francisco & Tarzij√°n, Jorge, 2012. "The impact of complexity and managerial diseconomies on hierarchical governance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 586-599.

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