Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Changing forms of inter-firm governance within supply chains and the building of firms'capabilities
Author: Lelievre-Finch, Dominique
Awarding Body: Manchester Business School, University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2008
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The research presented in this thesis focuses on the relationships between corporate actors in different supply chains drawn from a single market economy (UK) and is concerned with the building of organizational capabilities, linking particular governance regimes to firms' ability to develop unique capabilities at intra- and inter-organizational level. Supported by detailed empirical accounts, the thesis explores the interconnections and linkages between changing inter-organizational forms and the management of service quality viewed as an organizational competence, and presents a systematic conceptualization of these questions. Set in a realist perspective, the thesis posits that contingent elements such as environmental change and technology influence both the type and nature of inter-firm links and their regulation, as well as the social construction of a concern such as the management of service quality, and that these recombine in ways which under certain circumstances are likely to lead to the development and embedding of organizational capabilities within the environments studied. Overall, the study emphasizes the heterogeneity of inter-firm modes of exchange, mechanisms for co-ordination and control, and associated modes of governance within a single institutional environment, and it is suggested that the differences can be apprehended more systematically by creating four ideal types of supply chains. Drawing critically on the concept of network governance to analyse the relationships studied, it is argued that the relational embeddedness does not follow automatically from the high level of structural embeddedness observed in the more complex clusters. The thesis argues instead that the regulation of relationships between actors is characterised by a diffuse form of authority, understood as an extension of the 'domain of influence and consensus' of the leading organization in each cluster. It suggests that a single focus on normative elements has only limited explanatory power, and that the development of norms of obligation between actors in the more complex cluster is subordinate to the successful regulation of relationships through authority. Relying on a fined-grained analysis of the nature and dynamics of the context (supply chains), the thesis plays down the broad but widely assumed link between network forms of organization and learning between firms partaking in them, and invites a more nuanced reflection on this topic through an examination of the conditions under which, and the ways in which, network governance favours between actors the exchange of knowledge and the building of capabilities of a systemic type such as the management of service quality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available