The Adoption, Diffusion, and Evolution of Organizational Form: Insights from the Agrifood Sector

Managerial and Decision Economics, Forthcoming

CORI Working Paper No. 2007-01

42 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2007 Last revised: 29 Jul 2012

See all articles by Harvey S. James, Jr.

Harvey S. James, Jr.

University of Missouri at Columbia - Division of Applied Social Sciences

Peter G. Klein

Baylor University - Hankamer School of Business; Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Strategy and Management; Ludwig von Mises Institute

Michael E. Sykuta

University of Missouri at Columbia - Division of Applied Social Sciences

Date Written: December 20, 2010

Abstract

The rise of contract farming and vertical integration is one of the most important changes in modern agriculture. Yet the adoption and diffusion of these new forms of organization has varied widely across regions, commodities, or farm types. Transaction cost theories have done much in helping us understand the advantages of contracting and integration over traditional spot markets and commodity brokers. However, these theories are not fully effective at explaining the variation of adoption rates of different organizational forms, in part because of their inherent static nature. This paper lays out a framework for understanding the evolution of organizational practices in U.S. agriculture by drawing on theories of the diffusion of technology and organizational complementarities. Using recent trends as stylized facts, with case studies from various agricultural industries, we argue that research identifying complementarities within specific sectors of the agrifood system will greatly improve our understanding of the organizational structure of agricultural production, and we identify several specific lines of inquiry.

Keywords: contracting, vertical integration, organizational innovation, diffusion

JEL Classification: L14, L22, Q13, O33

Suggested Citation

James, Harvey S. and Klein, Peter G. and Sykuta, Michael E., The Adoption, Diffusion, and Evolution of Organizational Form: Insights from the Agrifood Sector (December 20, 2010). Managerial and Decision Economics, Forthcoming; CORI Working Paper No. 2007-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=980301 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.980301

Harvey S. James

University of Missouri at Columbia - Division of Applied Social Sciences ( email )

Columbia, MO
United States
573-884-9682 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://hsjames2.wordpress.com

Peter G. Klein

Baylor University - Hankamer School of Business ( email )

Waco, TX 76798
United States
254-710-4903 (Phone)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Strategy and Management ( email )

Breiviksveien 40
N-5045 Bergen
Norway

Ludwig von Mises Institute ( email )

Auburn, AL
United States

Michael E. Sykuta (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Columbia - Division of Applied Social Sciences ( email )

143 Mumford Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-882-1738 (Phone)
573-884-3958 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://michaelsykuta.com

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