Handbook of Economic Organization
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Handbook of Economic Organization

Integrating Economic and Organization Theory

Edited by Anna Grandori

This comprehensive and groundbreaking Handbook integrates economic and organization theories to help elucidate the design and evolution of economic organization. Economic organization is regarded both as a subject of inquiry and as an emerging disciplinary field in its own right, integrating insights from economics, organization theory, strategy and management, economic sociology and congnitive psychology. The contributors, who share this integrated approach, are distinguished scholars at the productive peak in their fields. Each original, state-of-the art chapter not only addresses foundational issues, but also identifies key issues for future research.
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Chapter 25: Internal and external hybrids and the nature of joint ventures

Jean-François Hennart


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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