Integrating Economic and Organization Theory
Edited by Anna Grandori
Chapter 25: Internal and external hybrids and the nature of joint ventures
The literature on alliances is vast and diffuse. They have been studied by economists, strategists, sociologists and international business scholars, each following their own particular approach and setting up their own typologies and theories. In this chapter I develop a comprehensive framework to try to provide clearer definitions for the terms ‘hybrids’, ‘networks’ and ‘joint ventures’ and to show the relationship between these concepts. Specifically I will argue that: (1) within alliances a distinction should be made between external hybrids, which are a type of market relationship, and sharing agreements, which include equity joint ventures; (2) equity joint ventures are not hybrids but a type of firm; (3) networks are not a third organizing method, in addition to the price system and hierarchy, but instead the context of relationship-based governance.
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