Costly Control: An Examination of the Tradeoff between Control Investments and Residual Risk in Interfirm Transactions

Management Science, 63(7): 2163-2180, 2016

42 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2015 Last revised: 28 Oct 2017

See all articles by Shannon W. Anderson

Shannon W. Anderson

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management

Henri C. Dekker

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Accounting

Alexandra G. H. L. Van den Abbeele

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven)

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

Transaction cost economics predicts that investments in management control will enable risky interfirm transactions. Risk is rarely eliminated, because firms trade off costs of management control and expected costs of control loss (together, the “cost of control”). The resultant solution typically comprises a mix of control investments with residual performance and residual relational risks. Transaction cost economics also predicts that the control-residual risk tradeoff will vary with the cost of control. We use survey data on 287 risky information technology transactions to test whether the control-residual risk tradeoff varies predictably with two partnership-specific factors that proxy for variation in the cost of control: prior ties between exchange partners and the criticality of strategic resources to the transaction. The results support the hypotheses, providing novel evidence on tradeoffs that managers make when investing in management controls while also prudently accepting some risks.

Keywords: transaction cost economics, resource-based view, incomplete control, prior ties, strategic resources, IT procurement

JEL Classification: D23, L14, M40

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Shannon W. and Dekker, Henri C. and Van den Abbeele, Alexandra G. H. L., Costly Control: An Examination of the Tradeoff between Control Investments and Residual Risk in Interfirm Transactions (2017). Management Science, 63(7): 2163-2180, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2638271 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2638271

Shannon W. Anderson

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Henri C. Dekker (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Accounting ( email )

Netherlands

Alexandra G. H. L. Van den Abbeele

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven) ( email )

Department of Accountancy, Finance & Insurance
Naamsestraat 69
B-3000 Leuven, 3000
Belgium
+32 16 32 69 36 (Phone)
+32 16 32 67 32 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/alexandra.vandenabbeele

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