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An organizational learning perspective on contract design

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  • Lumineau, Fabrice
  • Frechet, Marc
  • Puthod, Dominique

Abstract

The contracting process is a crucial step in alliance development and its success. However, the existing literature reveals surprisingly little investigation into how organizational learning relates to the process of contract making. We therefore conducted an in-depth longitudinal study of the alliance contracting process in the animated film industry. First, our findings suggest that during the contracting process, firms can learn about the way to deal with the contracting process, about themselves and their partner, and about the transaction features. Second, the case analysis indicates a combination of experiential, vicarious, and inferential learning mechanisms. Combining these insights into the objects and the mechanisms of learning during the contracting process, we discuss how contracting and learning processes are related and analyze the role of the contracting process in supporting organizational learning. The findings show that the drafting of contractual clauses fosters learning and, in turn, this learning triggers new contractual negotiations. Hence we suggest that the alignment between transaction features and the choice of contractual governance results from learning during the contracting process. We then propose avenues for future research.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 38360.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38360

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Related research

Keywords: Contracting process; Strategic alliances; Organizational learning; Longitudinal case study;

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  1. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. Foss, Nicolai J., 2003. "Bounded rationality in the economics of organization: "Much cited and little used"," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 245-264, April.
  4. Heimeriks, K.H. & Duysters, G.M., 2003. "Alliance capability as mediator between experience and alliance performance: an empirical investigation into the alliance capability development process," Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) working paper series 03.18, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS).
  5. Keith J. Crocker & Scott E. Masten, 1988. "Mitigating Contractual Hazards: Unilateral Options and Contract Length," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 327-343, Autumn.
  6. Dekker, Henri C., 2004. "Control of inter-organizational relationships: evidence on appropriation concerns and coordination requirements," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 27-49, January.
  7. Malhotra, Deepak & Lumineau, Fabrice, 2011. "Trust and collaboration in the aftermath of conflict: the effects of contract structure," MPRA Paper 38358, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Lumineau, Fabrice & Malhotra, Deepak, 2011. "Shadow of the contract: how contract structure shapes inter-firm dispute resolution," MPRA Paper 38359, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Lumineau, Fabrice & Henderson, James, 2012. "The influence of relational experience and contractual governance on the negotiation strategy in buyer-supplier disputes," MPRA Paper 38510, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Lumineau, Fabrice & Quelin, Bertrand, 2012. "An Empirical Investigation of Interorganizational Opportunism and Contracting Mechanisms," MPRA Paper 38362, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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