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Title: Vertical relations, corporate strategy and industrial organisation : a comparative analysis of two U.K. industries
Author: Cook, Gary A. S.
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1993
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This thesis is fundamentally concerned with the reasons for vertical integration. It specifically addresses the questions of why vertical integration and close contractual equivalents have arisen in the petrol and brewing sectors of the U.K. and what influences the particular pattern of integration and contracts found. It further seeks to explain the major terms of the contracts used. The thesis is structured as a debate between explanations predicated on the assumption that market power drives vertical integration and those predicated on the assumption of efficiency. The thesis further considers the adequacy of the Neoclassical, New Institutional and Neoinstitutional paradigms for explaining the structure of industry. In concordance with a debate between paradigms, the thesis is rooted in the Lakatosian Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes. The thesis employs a case study methodology based principally on secondary sources and semi-structured interviews. Where possible, econometric techniques have also been employed. The principal case study period in 1965-1990, although the historical roots of vertical integration in both industries are explored. The principal conclusions of the thesis are as follows. The recent history of vertical integration is better accounted for by efficiency rationales in the case of petrol and by market power in the case of brewing, although the converse is true regarding the origins of vertical integration. Nevertheless, elements of both are present in each industry. Moreover, none of the paradigms emerges as being adequate on its own to account for the organisation of industry. Accordingly, the basis on which a synthesis would be possible is considered. This would require the rationality assumption to be relaxed by the Neoclassical and Neoinstitutional paradigms and the assumption of efficient outcomes of market processes to be relaxed in the New Institutional and Neoinstitutional. The recommendation for public competition policy is that both efficiency and power rationales should be considered and that a 'rule of reason' rather than a 'per se' approach is to be preferred.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available