Why Do Firms Both Make and Buy? An Investigation of Concurrent Sourcing
Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 28, pp. 285-311, 2007
27 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2007
Transaction cost economics, neoclassical economics, and the firm capabilities literatures propose theories of the firm that typically depict firm boundaries determined by a dichotomous choice: the make or buy decision. However, none of these theories presents a satisfying explanation as to why firms would concurrently source, i.e., simultaneously make and buy the same good. This study combines these organizational economics theories and compares when firms make, buy, and concurrently source through surveying small manufacturing firms. Support was shown for aspects of all three theories, with evidence indicating that concurrent sourcing is a distinctly different choice, rather existing along a make/buy continuum.
Keywords: vertical integration, taper integration, make or buy decisions, sourcing
JEL Classification: D23, L22, L61
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation