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No "third way" for economic organization: Networks and quasi-markets in broadcasting


  • Simon Deakin
  • Ana Lourenço
  • Stephen Pratten


We present two linked, longitudinal case studies of the use of quasi-markets in United Kingdom broadcasting over the past decade: one looks at the regulated outsourcing of programme making to independent producers, the other at the development of an internal market system within the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). New network forms are shown to have arisen from the interaction of legal regulation, contracts, and property rights. However, these organisational forms are also seen to be associated with increased transaction costs and with signs of deterioration in programme quality and innovation. We suggest that for such networks to be a viable "third way" between markets and hierarchy, closer attention needs to be given to the issue of institutional design. Copyright 2009 , Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Deakin & Ana Lourenço & Stephen Pratten, 2009. "No "third way" for economic organization: Networks and quasi-markets in broadcasting," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 51-75, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:18:y:2009:i:1:p:51-75

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jorg Sydow & Udo Staber, 2002. "The Institutional Embeddedness of Project Networks: The Case of Content Production in German Television," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(3), pages 215-227.
    2. Joseph Lampel & Jamal Shamsie, 2003. "Capabilities in Motion: New Organizational Forms and the Reshaping of the Hollywood Movie Industry," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(8), pages 2189-2210, December.
    3. Simon Deakin & Stephen Pratten, 1999. "Reinventing the Market? Competition and Regulatory Change in Broadcasting," Working Papers wp134, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paola Savini, 2015. "Lineamenti di analisi socio-economica per le policy comunitarie sulla produzione audiovisiva," PRISMA Economia - Società - Lavoro, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(1), pages 206-222.
    2. Turner, S. & Lourenço, A., 2010. "Competition and Public Service Broadcasting: Stimulating Creativity or servicing Capital?," Working Papers wp408, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    3. Albert Jolink & Eva Niesten, 2012. "Hybrid Governance," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics and Theory of the Firm, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Simon Turner, 2013. "Absorptive Capacity: The Role of Communities of Practice," Working Papers wp444, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media


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