بررسی ساز و کار حاکمیت شبه ادغام در روابط خریدار تامین کننده
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21185||2009||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5785 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 62, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 660–666
This article deals with quasi-integration governance mechanisms in the context of business-to-business buyer–seller relationships. Based on transaction cost analysis and resource dependence theory, the authors identify four key elements of quasi-integration: legal contract, joint problem solving, joint planning, and collaborative communication. From the perspective of resource dependence theory, the authors examine the effects of interdependence on these four elements. Empirical evidence derived from a study of 398 Chinese companies indicates that (1) the four governance mechanisms of quasi-integration are driven by inter-firm dependence; and that (2) legal contract serves as an important foundation of joint problem solving. In addition, the authors examine the distinct effects of the four elements on two critical exchange outcomes: supplier performance and buyer commitment. Their analysis shows that legal contract, joint planning, and collaborative communication positively affect supplier's performance, while joint problem solving and collaborative communication significantly enhance the buyer's commitment to the relationship.
In recent years, researchers have shown increasing interest in quasi-integration. The initial claims of transaction cost analysis (TCA) argue that market and hierarchy (or vertical integration) are two polar extremes of governance (Williamson, 1975). Recent studies, however, suggest that there exist intermediate governance modes such as quasi-integration, which falls somewhere between these two polar extremes (McCutcheon and Stuart, 2000 and Zaheer and Venkatraman, 1995). It is argued that quasi-integration serves as an alternative governance structure to vertical integration (Zaheer and Venkatraman, 1995). In this paper, we take the view that quasi-integration is a hybrid form of governance, and define it based on TCA and resource dependence theory (RDT). In the logic of TCA, like vertical integration, quasi-integration should protect specific assets, adapt to uncertainty, and enable efficient transactions (Heide, 1994 and Williamson, 1985). RDT, on the other hand, suggests that the governance between organizations should allow them to obtain resources from other parties and reduce risks associated with uncertainty (Heide, 1994 and Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978). By combining these two perspectives, we define quasi-integration as a hybrid governance mechanism that enables two organizations to protect specific assets, adapt to uncertainty, obtain resources, and efficiently coordinate transaction and interaction between them (Cousins and Menguc, 2006, Das et al., 2006 and Frohlich and Westbrook, 2001). Even with the significant body of prior literature addressing quasi-integration, there remain three essential issues incompletely analyzed. First, it remains unclear what elements comprise the major governance mechanisms of quasi-integration. Most particularly, since quasi-integration is a collaborative relationship between two organizations, it inevitably involves two common inter-organizational governance mechanisms: legal contract and relational governances (Poppo and Zenger, 2002). While legal contract governance has been clearly defined in prior literature, there is a lack of consensus of the elements of relational governance. Previous studies usually propose various sets of key relational governance elements, but do not provide a theoretical explanation as to why these elements have been selected. Second, most prior studies have adopted the TCA paradigm to explain the formation of quasi-integration (e.g., Buvik and Gronhaug, 2000, Parker and Anderson, 2002 and Zaheer and Venkatraman, 1995). However, other theoretical perspectives could also be utilized for this purpose. In this paper, we adopt one such paradigm, RDT. The RDT theory suggests that an organization's environment is inherently unstable and thus it has to develop governance mechanisms to deal with it (Handfield, 1993 and Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978). The theory provides a rich predictive framework for explaining how organizations can make their supply environment more stable and efficient (Handfield, 1993). As such, compared to TCA, it provides an alternative perspective that could be utilized for explaining the formation of inter-organizational governance mechanisms such as quasi-integration. Finally, when it comes to the effects of quasi-integration on exchange outcomes, most prior studies have concentrated on the firm's performance (Cousins and Menguc, 2006, Das et al., 2006, Droge et al., 2004 and Narasimhan and Das, 2001). Here we maintain that in addition to performance, commitment should also be considered, since it reflects the effectiveness of quasi-integration in maintaining the relationship. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to examine the process through which quasi-integration exerts governing effects on the buyer–supplier relationship by addressing the following three questions: (1) What are the key elements of quasi-integration governance mechanisms? (2) To what extent does interdependence affects these key elements? and (3) To what extent do these key elements affect exchange outcomes, such as supplier performance and buyer's commitment?
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study provides three main theoretical contributions to the literature on supply chain management. First, our study identifies four major governance mechanisms of quasi-integration. Especially, our empirical evidence confirms that both legal contract and relational governance mechanisms are required for maintaining and promoting an effective buyer–supplier relationship, even in Chinese business society where firm governance relies greatly on “Guanxi” (interpersonal relationship). Second, although our results show that interdependence between two parties motivates them to adopt both legal contract and relational elements of governance, the relative effect of interdependence on four governance mechanisms differs. Notably, the influence of interdependence on legal contract is much weaker than its effects on the three relational elements of quasi-integration. This is probably because, while interdependence motivates companies to develop complicated contracts between them, such contracts are often expensive to draft and cannot cover all possible future contingencies (Cannon et al., 2000 and Heide and John, 1992). As such, they are likely to depend more on relational governance elements to safeguard the relationship than on the legal contract (Cannon et al., 2000). In China, we suspect that because weak legal enforcement could deter firms from seeking legal contract as an effective defense, firms are more likely to rely on relational governance. Our third contribution resides in the fact that the four governance mechanisms have distinct effects on supplier's performance and buyer's commitment. Specifically, unlike other mechanisms, joint problem solving does not exert a direct effect on supplier's performance. This is probably because joint problem solving is a reactive approach (Claro et al., 2003). Companies will turn to joint problem solving only when significant problems occur. Thus, the major role of joint problem solving in a buyer–supplier dyad is to resolve problems rather than to proactively enhance performance. As such, the linkage between joint problem solving and supplier's performance is relatively weak. On the other hand, among the four mechanisms, only joint problem solving and collaborative communication are found to have direct positive effects on buyer's commitment. The other two mechanisms, legal contract and joint planning, only have indirect effects on commitment via enhanced supplier's performance. This is probably because joint problem solving and collaborative communication not only affect performance of the supplier–buyer dyad, but also influence two parties' attitudes toward each other. One party's commitment is not only affected by calculated benefits of the relationship and costs of terminating the relationship, but also by its positive affective sense toward the other party ( Geyskens et al., 1996). Joint problem solving and collaborative communication allow trading partners to experience a sense of loyalty and belongingness. Thus, these two factors have direct effects on both parties' emotions, which extend well beyond the calculated benefits derived from enhanced supplier's performance. Specifically, while companies exhibit flexibility and reach mutual compromise during joint problem solving, they display willingness to have each other's best interests, as well as trust toward each other, in mind. As such, joint problem solving could enhance the parties' affective desire to remain in the relationship. Similarly, collaborative communication could foster shared value and mutual support, and align the interest of two parties, thereby making them feel that they are valued and appreciated by the other parties ( Mohr et al., 1996). As such, collaborative communication enhances the positive feeling of two parties toward each other, and thus results in their commitment. The study also provides profound implications for managers. Our results highlight the importance of legal contract in quasi-integration, even in Chinese business settings where “Guanxi” predominates and legal systems are relatively ineffective or undergoing development. Legal contract establishes the basis for cooperative practices, such as joint problem solving, in order to function more effectively. In this sense, managers should recognize that quasi-integration not only involves relational governance elements, but also embraces elements of contractual governance. Companies need to clarify their obligations, expectations, as well as their bottom line, in legal contracts, in order to smoothly implement joint problem solving. Without such contracts, participating parties may bring vague and unrealistic expectations into joint problem solving sessions, and may feel frustrated when such expectations are not met. This could have negative effects on their commitment to the relationship. Our empirical results reveal that both commitment and performance are important outcomes of a relationship. The four governance mechanisms of quasi-integration have distinct effects on the two outcomes. As such, companies should not overemphasize performance and ignore commitment. Overlooking commitment may motivate a company to use destructive conflict solution techniques, such as domination and harsh words (Mohr and Spekman, 1994), rather than joint problem solving. Such an approach may be effective in the short term, but could result in dissatisfaction and undermine the commitment of the other party. Consequently, in the long run, the other party may turn to other trading partners whenever possible and terminate the current relationship. This may result in a loss of TSIs on both sides. In addition, it could also incur substantial searching and negotiating costs for both parties, since they have to search for new trading partners. Therefore, managers should not assume that commitment is merely a result of enhanced performance. It is critical for both parties to participate in joint problem solving and collaborative communication, thereby enhancing each other's commitment toward the relationship.