IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/10142.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Agents of Embeddedness

Author

Listed:
  • Pierre Azoulay

Abstract

A rich literature argues that interorganizational networks foster learning and coordinated adaptation among their constituents, but embedded ties between organizations are not ubiquitous. What explains this heterogeneity? Acknowledging the influence of agency relationships within organizations can help refine the scope of embeddedness arguments. This idea is explored in an in-depth qualitative examination of sourcing practices in drug development. The outsourcing of central laboratory services is characterized by repeated interactions, relationship-specific investments, and fine-grained information transfer between buyers and suppliers. In contrast, embedded relationships with contract research organizations have failed to materialize, despite the repeated efforts of exchange partners. Drawing on fieldwork conducted at six pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, I explain why outsourcing deals take the form of embedded relationships in the first setting, and of seemingly inefficient spot contracts in the second setting. The evidence suggests that the structure of constituent firms' internal labor markets powerfully shapes and constrains the scope of interorganizational networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Azoulay, 2003. "Agents of Embeddedness," NBER Working Papers 10142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10142
    Note: PR
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10142.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1999. "Interfirm Relationships and Informal Credit in Vietnam," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1285-1320.
    2. Greif, Avner, 1998. "Historical and Comparative Institutional Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 80-84, May.
    3. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    4. Asanuma, Banri & Kikutani, Tatsuya, 1992. "Risk absorption in Japanese subcontracting: A microeconometric study of the automobile industry," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-29, March.
    5. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
    6. Helper, Susan & MacDuffie, John Paul & Sabel, Charles, 2000. "Pragmatic Collaborations: Advancing Knowledge While Controlling Opportunism," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(3), pages 443-487, September.
    7. David H. Autor, 2003. "Outsourcing at Will: The Contribution of Unjust Dismissal Doctrine to the Growth of Employment Outsourcing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-42, January.
    8. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 2002. "Relational Contracts and the Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 39-84.
    9. Pierre Azoulay, 2003. "Acquiring Knowledge Within and Across Firm Boundaries: Evidence from Clinical Development," NBER Working Papers 10083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-580, June.
    11. Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Margaret Levi & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 1998. "Analytic Narratives," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 6355.
    12. repec:mes:jeciss:v:30:y:1996:i:4:p:1212-1216 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Michi Kandori, 2010. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Levine's Working Paper Archive 630, David K. Levine.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Tannista Banerjee & Ralph Siebert, 2013. "The Impact of R&D Cooperation on Drug Variety Offered on the Market: Evidence from the Pharmaceutical Industry," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2013-20, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
    2. Pierre Azoulay, 2004. "Capturing Knowledge within and across Firm Boundaries: Evidence from Clinical Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1591-1612, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10142. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.