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The Multiple Boundaries of the Firm

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  • Luis Araujo
  • Anna Dubois
  • Lars-Erik Gadde

Abstract

The notion of firm boundaries has received considerable attention in theories of the firm that address the problems of investment incentives and mitigation of hold-up problems. In this paper we attempt to develop a different approach to the problem of vertical firm boundaries, based on recent advances in the capabilities view of the firm. Our arguments rely on the pioneering insights of Penrose, Richardson and Loasby to elaborate a view of the boundaries determined by the interaction of the firm's direct and indirect capabilities with other actors. We develop the notion of indirect capabilities to highlight how firm boundaries respond to the distribution of capabilities in the economy as well as the modes of access to complementary and external capabilities. We conclude that the evolution of firm boundaries must be understood in the context of decisions on how the firm relates to other actors in its environment. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Araujo & Anna Dubois & Lars-Erik Gadde, 2003. "The Multiple Boundaries of the Firm," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(5), pages 1255-1277, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:40:y:2003:i:5:p:1255-1277
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    Cited by:

    1. Francisco Brahm & Jorge Tarzijan, 2016. "Relational Contracts and Collaboration in the Supply Chain: Impact of Expected Future Business Volume on the Make-or-Buy Decision," Journal of Supply Chain Management, Institute for Supply Management, vol. 52(3), pages 48-67, July.
    2. repec:spr:grdene:v:18:y:2009:i:5:d:10.1007_s10726-008-9137-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:aumajo:v:23:y:2015:i:2:p:107-116 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bustinza, O.F. & Arias-Aranda, D. & Gutierrez-Gutierrez, L., 2010. "Outsourcing, competitive capabilities and performance: an empirical study in service firms," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 276-288, August.
    5. Paulo F. Azevedo & Maria Sylvia Saes & Paula Sarita Bigio Schneider & Thiago Bernardino de Carvalho & Andresa Silva Neto Francischini & Synthia Kariny Silva de Santana & Maria Clara de Azevedo Morguli, 2016. "Learning from Productive Development Agencies in Brazil: Policies for Technological Innovation," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 8020, Inter-American Development Bank.
    6. repec:spr:amsrev:v:7:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s13162-017-0103-x is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Thomas Hutzschenreuter & Florian Gröne, 2009. "Changing Vertical Integration Strategies under Pressure from Foreign Competition: The Case of US and German Multinationals," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 269-307, March.
    8. Finch, John & Wagner, Beverly & Hynes, Niki, 2012. "Resources prospectively: How actors mobilize resources in business settings," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 164-174.
    9. Andersson, Ulf & Holm, Desiree Blankenburg & Johanson, Martin, 2007. "Moving or doing? Knowledge flow, problem solving, and change in industrial networks," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 32-40, January.
    10. Huemer, Lars, 2012. "Unchained from the chain: Supply management from a logistics service provider perspective," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 258-264.
    11. Dara K. Dimitrov & Howard Davey, 2011. "Sustainable development: what it means to CFOs of New Zealand," Asian Review of Accounting, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(1), pages 86-108, May.
    12. Kotabe, Masaaki & Jiang, Crystal Xiangwen & Murray, Janet Y., 2011. "Managerial ties, knowledge acquisition, realized absorptive capacity and new product market performance of emerging multinational companies: A case of China," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 166-176, April.
    13. Ciabuschi, Francesco & Perna, Andrea & Snehota, Ivan, 2012. "Assembling resources when forming a new business," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 220-229.
    14. Pierre Mathieu & Dominique Geoffroy-Terryn, 2012. "L'Expertise Du Gestionnaire Des Ressources Humaines A L'Interface De Multiples Influences," Post-Print halshs-00769067, HAL.
    15. Paulo F. Azevedo & Maria Sylvia Saes & Paula Sarita Bigio Schneider & Thiago Bernardino de Carvalho & Andresa Silva Neto Francischini & Synthia Kariny Silva de Santana & Maria Clara de Azevedo Morguli, 2016. "Learning from Productive Development Agencies in Brazil: Policies for Technological Innovation," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 96997, Inter-American Development Bank.
    16. Bert Scholtens, 2007. "Financial and Social Performance of Socially Responsible Investments in the Netherlands," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(6), pages 1090-1105, November.
    17. Cécile Cézanne & Marianne Rubinstein, 2010. "La RSE comme instrument de la gouvernance d'entreprise," Post-Print hal-00628645, HAL.
    18. Kasch, Silja & Dowling, Michael, 2008. "Commercialization strategies of young biotechnology firms: An empirical analysis of the U.S. industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1765-1777, December.

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