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Understanding managers' preferences for internal markets versus business planning: A comparative study of German and U.S. managers


  • Egelhoff, William
  • Frese, Erich


Internal markets and centralized business planning are alternative organizational designs for coordinating the economic activities within a firm. While some preliminary theory about when to use each exists in the literature, little is known about how managers understand and decide when to use one or the other. The study develops and tests in samples of German and U.S. managers a preliminary theory about factors that influence the preferences of managers for internal markets or planning as alternative modes of coordination. Managers' preferences are influenced by key constructs of internal markets and planning theory (the perceived limits of planning, speed and efficiency of markets, motivation potential of markets), but also by differences in their institutional contexts (national government and business context, company culture, and recent company experience with planning and internal markets). The study is the first to explore the substitutability of internal markets and planning within the strategic decision process of managers, closer to where it becomes reality.

Suggested Citation

  • Egelhoff, William & Frese, Erich, 2009. "Understanding managers' preferences for internal markets versus business planning: A comparative study of German and U.S. managers," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 77-91, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:15:y:2009:i:1:p:77-91

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
    2. Jerry Ellig, 2001. "Internal markets and the theory of the firm," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4-5), pages 227-237.
    3. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2009. "Can Germany Be Saved?: The Malaise of the World's First Welfare State," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262512602, January.
    4. Parkhe, Arvind, 2003. "Institutional environments, institutional change and international alliances," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 305-316.
    5. Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
    6. William G Egelhoff, 1984. "Patterns of Control in U.S., UK and European Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 15(2), pages 73-83, June.
    7. V. K. Narayanan, 2005. "The Relevance of the Institutional Underpinnings of Porter's Five Forces Framework to Emerging Economies: An Epistemological Analysis," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 207-223, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Oberlaender, Michael & Dobhan, Alexander, 2014. "Behavioral analysis and adaptation of a negotiation based, quantitative planning approach for hybrid organizations," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 31-38.
    2. Dobhan, Alexander & Oberlaender, Michael, 2013. "Hybrid contracting within multi-location networks," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(2), pages 612-619.


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