Hybrid Organization of Production and Distribution

Claude Menard

Abstract


This paper emphasizes the central role of arrangements called “hybrids” in the organization of production and distribution in market economies. Several forms are taken into account, such as subcontracting, supply-chain systems, distribution networks, franchising, partnerships, alliances, or cooperatives. It is argued that under the apparent heterogeneity of these forms are shared characteristics qualifying them as specific “institutional structures of production”. The paper stresses that beyond their relevance for economists wishing to understand the coexistence of alternative modes of governance in market economies, hybrid arrangements provide unique opportunities for theoretical investigation on the nature of inter-firm coordination.

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