Knowledge Intensive Business Services

Knowledge Intensive Business Services

Organizational Forms and National Institutions

Edited by Marcela Miozzo and Damian Grimshaw

This book focuses on the development of Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) and the associated market characteristics and organisational forms. It brings together reputed scholars from a mix of disciplines to explore the nature and evolution of a range of Knowledge Intensive Business Services. Through an examination of KIBS sectors such as computer services, management consultancy and R & D services, the contributions in this book argue that the evolution of KIBS is strongly associated with new inter-organizational forms and that different country institutions shape the characteristics of these organisational forms.

Chapter 2: Principles of Inter-organizational Relationships: An Integrated Survey

Bart Nooteboom

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, economics and finance, services, innovation and technology, knowledge management


Bart Nooteboom INTRODUCTION The sourcing decision – what to make and what to buy – is a special case of the more general decision of what to do inside one’s own organization, and what to do outside, in collaboration with other organizations. Outsourcing entails vertical collaboration in the supply chain. Other forms of collaboration may be horizontal, with competitors, or lateral, with firms in other industries. Next to the question what to do inside or outside, and why, there are the questions with whom to collaborate, and how, in what forms of organization and with what instruments for governance. The time is ripe for a unified approach that analyses all these questions, integrating different perspectives and arguments that have emerged in recent advances, from different disciplines. In particular, there is a need to combine perspectives of competence and governance (Nooteboom 2004a; Williamson 1999). From the perspective of ‘dynamic competences’, there has been a focus on the development of competences and learning, with a neglect of relational risk and its governance. Transaction cost economics (TCE) has focused on ‘hold-up risk’ and the hazards of opportunism, to the neglect of learning and innovation. Concerning governance, network analysis in the social sciences has included the role of trust, while trust has been neglected, or even ruled out, in TCE. In a wide literature, in economics, sociology and business, important new insights have been generated, but they tend to focus on few aspects, resulting in one-sided conclusions. For example, concerning sourcing, opinion seems...

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