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Explaining Vertical Integration Strategies: Market Power, Transactional Attributes and Capabilities


  • Isabel Díez-Vial


We analyse vertical boundaries of firms by identifying and comparing industrial, transactional and firm-specific factors in such a way that industrial organization, new institutional economics and the capability-based view are all taken into account. After testing the model in 155 firms in the Spanish meat industry, we observe that only factors associated with both transaction costs and capabilities have a statistical and economic relevance for explaining vertical integration. Firms vertically integrate to create specific investment between stages of the value chain, to internally exploit their pool of knowledge and capacities, and to guarantee quality of inputs and services employed. On the other hand, firms avoid high levels of vertical integration in the presence of high demand changes in order to stay flexible. Finally, providers or clients with market power do not seem to affect vertical boundaries in any consistent way. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2007.

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  • Isabel Díez-Vial, 2007. "Explaining Vertical Integration Strategies: Market Power, Transactional Attributes and Capabilities," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(6), pages 1017-1040, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:44:y:2007:i:6:p:1017-1040

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Belderbos, Rene & Gilsing, Victor & Lokshin, Boris, 2009. "Persistence of and interrelation between horizontal and vertical technology alliances," MERIT Working Papers 065, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Fernández Olmos, Marta, 2010. "The performance implications of "grow or buy" decisions in the wine industry," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 256-264, June.
    3. Lokshin, Boris & Hagedoorn, John & Letterie, Wilko, 2011. "The bumpy road of technology partnerships: Understanding causes and consequences of partnership mal-functioning," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 297-308, March.
    4. Marta Fernández-Olmos & Jorge Rosell-Martínez & Manuel A. Espitia-Escuer, 2009. "Vertical integration in the wine industry: a transaction costs analysis on the Rioja DOCa," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 231-250.
    5. Stephan Manning & Silvia Massini & Carine Peeters & Arie Lewin, 2012. "Global Co-Evolution of Firm Boundaries: Process Commoditization, Capabilities Development, and Path Dependencies," Working Papers CEB 12-009, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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