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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1997

Pierre Barthon and Brian Jepsen

There has been a steady increase in the amount of research and theorising in the area of interorganisational research, especially with regard to buyer‐seller arrangements…

Abstract

There has been a steady increase in the amount of research and theorising in the area of interorganisational research, especially with regard to buyer‐seller arrangements in marketing channels (Andersen and Narus 1990, Bergen et.al., 1992, Boyle et.al., 1992). Alternative interorganisational governance models, such as joint ventures, strategic alliances, and sole‐sourcing are the reality of modern business management (Borys and Jemison 1989, Buckley and Casson 1988), and so interfirm governance has become a strategic management issue. The much‐cited work of Porter (1985, 1991) has focused on the optimal linkage of interfirm activities, and regards the planning and governance of interfirm relations as an important competitive strategic issue, a point reiterated by Heide (1994). The issue of channel relationships has been one of concern for both practitioners and academics, and theories such as those of transaction cost analysis (TCA), agency theory, and relational norms have on the one hand shed much light on the problems, and on the other provided a fruitful backdrop to much empirical research. Less attention has been given to the effects of time on these notions, both in the literature and in empirical research. In this article we provide an overview of the theories, and attempt an integration. The purpose of this article is to focus on transaction cost economics (TCE) and relational exchange theory to provide an overview of the areas of interorganisational research where relationships play a role. A number of areas where the theories diverge and converge are outlined. More importantly, we endeavour to bring the effects of time into consideration, and to develop propositions for further research.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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