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Competition, Co-operation and Subcontracting - Lessons from the Clothing Industry in Thailand

Author

Listed:
  • Philippe DULBECCO

    () (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))

  • Isabelle VAGNERON

    () (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))

Abstract

A close examination of the organisation of the clothing industry in Thailand exhibits a rather paradoxical situation: although the structural features of the sector - the breaking down of the production process, high labour intensity, low asset specificity, low skilled labour - seem to legitimate a market co-ordination mechanism, it is a close, durable and multiform co-operation which cements, in Thailand, the relations between contractors and subcontractors, as well as between subcontractors themselves. We defend the idea that this kind of co-operative organisation of economic activities represents an appropriate answer to the flexibility required by ever changing markets. Co-operation is here understood as a mechanism of temporal co-ordination of economic activities which, far from substituting itself to the market co-ordination mechanism, rather completes it.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe DULBECCO & Isabelle VAGNERON, 1998. "Competition, Co-operation and Subcontracting - Lessons from the Clothing Industry in Thailand," Working Papers 199827, CERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:95
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    File URL: http://publi.cerdi.org/ed/1998/1998.27.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David J. Teece, 2003. "Competition, Cooperation, and Innovation Organizational Arrangements for Regimes of Rapid Technological Progress," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Essays In Technology Management And Policy Selected Papers of David J Teece, chapter 16, pages 447-474 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Richardson, G B, 1972. "The Organisation of Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 883-896, September.
    3. Ottati, Gabi Dei, 1994. "Trust, Interlinking Transactions and Credit in the Industrial District," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(6), pages 529-546, December.
    4. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-261, October.
    5. Hanson, Gordon H, 1995. "Incomplete Contracts, Risk, and Ownership," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 341-363, May.
    6. Mariotti, Sergio & Cainarca, Gian Carlo, 1986. "The evolution of transaction governance in the tectile-clothing industry," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 351-374, December.
    7. Asanuma, Banri, 1989. "Manufacturer-supplier relationships in Japan and the concept of relation-specific skill," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, March.
    8. Marco Bellandi & Lisa De Propris, 2012. "Small Firms and Industrial Districts," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics and Theory of the Firm, chapter 27 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Carlsson, Bo, 1989. "Flexibility and the theory of the firm," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 179-203, June.
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