Chapter 8: Governance Trajectories
Despite a clarion call for further examination of multiple control mechanisms, few empirical studies have investigated this issue. (Jap and Ganesan, 2000: 227–45) INTRODUCTION Interorganizational governance eﬀorts – attempts to coordinate and control activities and outcomes in external collaborative ventures – are composed of multiple, interrelated decisions that are taken over a relationship’s life cycle. Notwithstanding this multidimensionality, academic studies on interorganizational governance frequently pertain to only one or a few governance choices. Little attention is paid to the interrelationships between governance choices, and to the dynamics characterizing value-creation and value-claiming activities in interorganizational relationships. I challenge this deﬁciency by conceptualizing interrelated governance decisions made during diﬀerent stages of a collaborative relationship as ‘governance trajectories’. I propose that the decisions embedded in these trajectories possess dissimilar organization-level and exchange-level antecedents, and that decisions made in earlier stages of cooperation aﬀect decisions made later on. Analyses of six governance decisions for a sample of 911 buyer–supplier relationships support my arguments. By challenging the conventional focus on singular governance decisions, and by replacing it with the concept of governance trajectories, the chapter contributes to a more comprehensive and dynamic picture of interorganizational governance. Interorganizational relationships are believed to consist of several stages, including a search and selection phase, a negotiation phase and a contracting phase (see Buskens et al., 2003a; Jap and Ganesan, 2000; Reuer, 1999, 2000; Zollo and Singh, 2004). These three stages in an interorganizational relationship’s life cycle (see De Rond, 2003; Jap and Ganesan, 2000)...
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