THE BENEFITS OF TRANSACTION COST ECONOMICS :

  • Adela J
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Abstract

In this conceptual paper, we argue that the organizational focus on transaction costs needs to be balanced by an attention to transaction benefits, both at the individual and organizational levels. To the transaction characteristics suggested by transaction costs economics, we add four additional ones likely to foster transaction benefits: intensity of knowledge, segmentation of knowledge, dispersion of knowledge, and scarcity of knowledge. The need to maximize transaction benefits while minimizing transaction costs results in the mixing of governance structures, where two (or more) pure governance structures are combined. We create a model of the relationships between transaction characteristics, mix of governance structures, transaction costs and benefits, and information systems; from an instantiated version of this general model, we elaborate four propositions. Moreover, with two real world examples (Google and JBoss), we illustrate the existence of the proposed transaction characteristics and mixed governance structures. We conclude by discussing how information systems generate opportunities for creating transaction benefits.

Author-supplied keywords

  • benefits
  • governance structures
  • transaction cost economics

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Authors

  • J W Adela

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