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Explaining and Predicting the Choice of Organizational Form: Integrating Performance Ambiguity and Asset Specificity Effects

  • Mahoney, Joseph T.

    (U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • McNally, Regina C.

    (Michigan State U)

Registered author(s):

    Organization theory suggests that various forms of performance ambiguity have governance implications for the strategic choice of control mechanism in organizational forms (e.g., Eisenhardt, 1985; Ouchi, 1979). Transaction costs theory emphasizes asset specificity as an important predictor of organizational form (e.g., Williamson, 1996). The current paper provides a new synthesis of performance ambiguity and asset specificity to better explain and predict the conditions under which various control mechanisms are more cost efficient.

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    File URL: http://www.business.illinois.edu/Working_Papers/papers/04-0109.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business in its series Working Papers with number 04-0109.

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    Date of creation: 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ecl:illbus:04-0109
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.business.uiuc.edu/Working_Papers/Main.asp

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    1. Levy, David T, 1985. "The Transactions Cost Approach to Vertical Integration: An Empirical Examination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 438-45, August.
    2. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    3. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Laura Poppo, 1995. "Influence Activities and Strategic Coordination: Two Distinctions of Internal and External Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(12), pages 1845-1859, December.
    5. Nooteboom, B. & Berger, H. & Noorderhaven, N.G., 1997. "Effects of trust and governance on relational risk," Other publications TiSEM 8e83932e-064c-40e8-afe7-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, 1985. "Control: Organizational and Economic Approaches," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(2), pages 134-149, February.
    7. Oxley, Joanne E., 1999. "Institutional environment and the mechanisms of governance: the impact of intellectual property protection on the structure of inter-firm alliances," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 283-309, March.
    8. Paul L. Robertson & Richard N. Langlois, 1994. "Innovation, Networks, and Vertical Integration," Industrial Organization 9406006, EconWPA.
    9. William G. Ouchi, 1979. "A Conceptual Framework for the Design of Organizational Control Mechanisms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(9), pages 833-848, September.
    10. Demsetz, Harold, 1988. "The Theory of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 141-61, Spring.
    11. Erin Anderson & David C. Schmittlein, 1984. "Integration of the Sales Force: An Empirical Examination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 385-395, Autumn.
    12. 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 233-61, October.
    13. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
    14. Anderson, Erin, 1988. "Transaction costs as determinants of opportunism in integrated and independent sales forces," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 247-264, April.
    15. Masten, Scott E & Meehan, James W, Jr & Snyder, Edward A, 1991. "The Costs of Organization," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25, Spring.
    16. Shelanski, Howard A & Klein, Peter G, 1995. "Empirical Research in Transaction Cost Economics: A Review and Assessment," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 335-61, October.
    17. John, George & Weitz, Barton A, 1988. "Forward Integration into Distribution: An Empirical Test of Transaction Cost Analysis," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 337-55, Fall.
    18. Riordan, Michael H. & Williamson, Oliver E., 1985. "Asset specificity and economic organization," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 365-378, December.
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