Pragmatic Collaborations: Advancing Knowledge While Controlling Opportunism.

Industrial and Corporate Change (Impact Factor: 1.37). 02/2000; 9(3):443-87.
Source: RePEc


This paper starts from the observation that firms are increasingly engaging in collaborations with their suppliers, even as they are reducing the extent to which they are vertically integrated with those suppliers. This fact seems incompatible with traditional theories of the firm, which argue that integration is necessary to avoid the potential for hold-ups created when non-contractible investments are made. Our view is that pragmatist mechanisms such as benchmarking, simultaneous engineering and "root cause" error detection and correction make possible "learning by monitoring"--a relationship in which firms and their collaborators continuously improve their joint products and processes without the need for a clear division of property rights. We argue that pragmatic collaborations based on "learning by monitoring" both advance knowledge and control opportunism and thus align interests between the collaborators. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.

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    • "As was indicated above, Ménard's (1996) study of governance structures in the French poultry industry empirically confirms this notion. Helper et al. (2000) in their study of supplier relations in the automobile industry also discover governance structures that seem incompatible with the traditional transaction cost theory typology. The transaction cost economic explanation of governance structures has been challenged on the grounds that it paints an undersocialized view of economic action that disallows any impact of social relations and the wider social structure (Granovetter, 1985). "
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    ABSTRACT: While research has identified a variety of hybrid governance structures, it has described and sought to explain this variety from different theoretical perspectives that are not readily reconcilable. This limits our ability systematically to compare different types of hybrids and on this basis to further theoretical understanding. Results of an empirical survey of transactions in buyer–supplier relations in the German construction industry provide novel insights into three distinct, widely employed types of hybrid governance structures. The study systematically compares the found hybrid governance structures and explores their rationales. As its main theoretical contribution, this study offers an empirically based typology of hybrid governance structures that complements earlier theorizing. It suggests that embeddedness and transaction cost arguments complement one another in explaining different and previously theoretically unspecified types of hybrid governance structures.
    Journal of Management 10/2013; DOI:10.1177/0149206313506938 · 6.86 Impact Factor
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    • "A resource-based view of the firm can be used to demonstrate how innovation depends on the development and accumulation of specialised internal capabilities. To stimulate the development of internal capabilities the firm needs organisational integration: a set of relations that creates incentives for employees who participate in hierarchical and functional divisions of labour to apply their skills and efforts to the innovation process (Helper et al., 2000). To absorb knowledge from the external environment, firms need organisational integration in which employees function as interfaces with the environment. "

    Technovation 04/2013; · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    • "Due to the prospects of product innovation, we have to consider interfacing among these functional modules or components. Modular product architecture results from the integration of a series of self-contained functional units with standard interfaces, manufactured or supplied and assembled as autonomous modules (Helper et al., 1999). This architecture is widely implemented for incremental innovation, where innovative practices are confined mainly to developing modules according to required functionalities. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose - Purpose ? The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate modularity degree in terms of interfaces and innovation. Design/methodology/approach - The research objective is achieved through a modeling approach for deciding modular architecture and its implementation regarding unique components and product innovation. A case example is presented to elaborate on the concept of modularity degree and provide an option for choosing the best module from different alternatives. Findings - The presented approach can be considered a product design strategy in which loose coupling is achieved through standardized component interfaces. Loosely coupled component interfacing is a prerequisite for developing mass customized products. There needs to be a decision support system to formulate the interfacing in order to achieve maximum benefits. This is illustrated in this paper. Research limitations/implications - The modeling strategy for measuring the modularity level is formulated theoretically. This approach needs to be validated through an empirical study in order to generalize its findings. Practical implications - In the industrial arena, there is a research gap in identifying and measuring the modularity level, which is formulated in the presented approach. It is hoped that this approach will contribute to filling this research gap in the business environment, which would further benefit managers of firms in their corresponding production processes. Originality/value - The unique contribution of this modeling approach is articulated through analyzing product architecture with a view to interpreting the component interfaces in a more productive way. This formulation triggers the decision making process in complex product development processes.
    Journal of Modelling in Management 02/2013; 8(1). DOI:10.1108/17465661311311950
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