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Asymmetry, heterogeneity and inter‐firm relationships Organizing the theoretical landscape

Asymmetry, heterogeneity and inter‐firm relationships Organizing the theoretical landscape Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to organize the theoretical landscape surrounding explanations of the impact asymmetry and heterogeneity on inter‐firm relationships, especially alliances. Design/methodology/approach – A conceptual framework integrating the resource‐based view, transaction cost economics and industrial organization is put forth to better understand asymmetry and heterogeneity in alliances. Findings – It is argued that low asymmetry and low heterogeneity are best addressed from an industrial organization perspective. Transaction cost economics best explains alliances in high asymmetry and low heterogeneity situations while the resource‐based view is most appropriate for high heterogeneity and low asymmetry alliances. In the case of high asymmetry and high heterogeneity, the tension between the resource‐based view and transaction costs economics is reconciled. Research limitations/implications – Researchers gain an original re‐framing of the theoretical landscape that will assist in generating new insights for future theory development. Practical implications – The paper lays the ground for new research directions while leaving practitioners with a better understanding of the lenses through which they should examine their firms' cooperative endeavours. Originality/value – Previous literature seldom addressed the categorization of various theoretical approaches along the notions of asymmetry and heterogeneity in inter‐firm relationships. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Organizational Analysis Emerald Publishing

Asymmetry, heterogeneity and inter‐firm relationships Organizing the theoretical landscape

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1934-8835
DOI
10.1108/19348830810915541
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to organize the theoretical landscape surrounding explanations of the impact asymmetry and heterogeneity on inter‐firm relationships, especially alliances. Design/methodology/approach – A conceptual framework integrating the resource‐based view, transaction cost economics and industrial organization is put forth to better understand asymmetry and heterogeneity in alliances. Findings – It is argued that low asymmetry and low heterogeneity are best addressed from an industrial organization perspective. Transaction cost economics best explains alliances in high asymmetry and low heterogeneity situations while the resource‐based view is most appropriate for high heterogeneity and low asymmetry alliances. In the case of high asymmetry and high heterogeneity, the tension between the resource‐based view and transaction costs economics is reconciled. Research limitations/implications – Researchers gain an original re‐framing of the theoretical landscape that will assist in generating new insights for future theory development. Practical implications – The paper lays the ground for new research directions while leaving practitioners with a better understanding of the lenses through which they should examine their firms' cooperative endeavours. Originality/value – Previous literature seldom addressed the categorization of various theoretical approaches along the notions of asymmetry and heterogeneity in inter‐firm relationships.

Journal

International Journal of Organizational AnalysisEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 4, 2008

Keywords: Strategic alliances; Organizational theory

References