New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Masaaki Kotabe and Preet S. Aulakh
Chapter 12: Towards a Research Agenda on Hybrid Organizations: R & D, Production and Marketing Interfaces
12. Towards a research agenda on hybrid organizations: R&D, production and marketing interfaces Xavier Martin INTRODUCTION: THE SCOPE OF HYBRID ORGANIZATION One of the most signiﬁcant developments in international strategy formulation since the early 1980s has been the growth and maturation of research on hybrid organizational forms. By hybrids, I refer to intentionally and extensively coordinated arrangements whereby two or more ﬁrms pool resources in an explicit and durable manner to the intended beneﬁt of each party. Hybrids lie between the business ﬁrm (the uniﬁed hierarchy) and the spot arm’s length transaction among altogether independent parties (the atomistic market). Pure markets and pure hierarchies are the conventional solutions most readily studied by business scientists (Williamson 1991; Hennart 1993). Hybrids, however, are both empirically common and more challenging to research (for example, Contractor and Lorange 1988; Harrigan 1988). Forms of hybrid arrangements include alliances, equity joint ventures, long-term collaborative procurement arrangements for components and technology, extended licensing, and assorted ties such that two or more ﬁrms remain legally autonomous but commit to durably and substantively coordinating their activities. Research has shown that participation in hybrid arrangements has implications for ﬁrms’ performance, whether measured by ﬁnancial indicators, innovation, or survival (for example, Singh and Mitchell 1996; Uzzi 1996; Ahuja 2000; Park and Martin 2001). An extensive literature has examined the motivations for entering into hybrid arrangements, and research shows that understanding the motivations helps understand the performance implications (Shaver 1995). Furthermore, understanding how ﬁrms set the functional boundaries...
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