Since the publication of Williamson’s Markets and Hierarchies, transaction cost economics has been the recipient of a substantial empirical focus. Yet, despite this large body of research conducted on transaction cost economics, a focal assumption of the theory, that of the interaction effect between asset specificity and uncertainty, has received little attention. Because of this lack of empirical data on the interaction effect, quantitative meta-analysis on the empirical evidence behind this interaction has yet to yield conclusions. In this paper I employ a qualitative approach to the review and analysis of the conducted research into the proposed interaction, and find consistent support of this effect for the studies on manufacturing firms, and consistent rejection of the significance of the interaction effect for service firms. Based on this finding, potential causes are discussed, two differing servicearchetypes are analysed, and constructs for asset specificity and uncertainty as it pertains to these are proposed. Two case firms for each of the two service-archetypes is then laid forward, and analysed through the hypothesized specificity and uncertainty constructs. For all four firms, asset specificity and uncertainty is deemed present in the analysed transactions, and it is concluded that the firms’ choice of governance is consistent with the normative proposals of TCE in three out of the four cases. Based on these findings, implications for the analysis of service firms’ asset specificity, and alternative causes of the observed effects, are discussed.
|Educations||Graduate Diploma in International Business, (Diploma Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||72|