Integrating Competitive Strategy and Transaction Cost Economics: An Operationalization of Fit in the Interstate Trucking Industry

Washington University Working Paper OLIN-97-06

Posted: 25 Apr 1998

See all articles by Jackson A. Nickerson

Jackson A. Nickerson

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School

Brian S. Silverman

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Date Written: June 1997

Abstract

While Porter's competitive strategy framework and Williamson's transaction cost economics have had an immense impact on modern strategic management research, they have tended to talk past each other. This paper provides an explicit integration of competitive strategy and transaction cost economics to explain the existence of different organizational forms within the same industry. We propose that a firm's strategic positioning choice has far-reaching implications for the assets it needs to assemble and the hazards to which its assets are exposed. A firm's organizational structure should "fit" its strategic position, which is characterized by the customer needs it serves and the technology and asset portfolio it employs, in that it adopts a transaction cost economizing form of organization given its strategic position. An analysis of the employment relation in the trucking industry provides empirical support for our predictions.

JEL Classification: D23, G30, G32, L92

Suggested Citation

Nickerson, Jackson A. and Silverman, Brian S., Integrating Competitive Strategy and Transaction Cost Economics: An Operationalization of Fit in the Interstate Trucking Industry (June 1997). Washington University Working Paper OLIN-97-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=79949

Jackson A. Nickerson (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States
314-935-6366 (Phone)
314-935-6359 (Fax)

Brian S. Silverman

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

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