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Inter-Firm Coordination as an Information Problem.

In: Business and Management

Submitted By aeltabbakh
Words 20581
Pages 83
Inter-firm coordination as an information problem. The case of a divisionalized company

Antonio Leotta
Assistant Professor of Accounting University of Catania (Italy) Department: Impresa, Culture e Società Email: antonio.leotta@unict.it

ABSTRACT The extant literature on inter-organizational control distinguishes the main control problems as coordination problems and appropriation concerns. The present study focuses on coordination problems and is intended to understand the process leading to the hybrid nature of inter-firm coordination modes and the role of information in this process. In a theoretical part, after discussing the main critical assumptions underlying coordination studies, an integrative framework is proposed to conceptualize the coordination process and describe the role of information in this process. In Particular, the framework assumes inter-firm settings as a-centered and a-static, whence the relevance of an interpretive approach where coordination is viewed as a process characterized by dialectic interactions between coordinating actors. The empirical part of the study is aimed at verifying the explanatory power of the framework studying a case of outsourcing relations in a divisionalized company operating in the semi-conductor industry. The case provided useful data giving new insights that enrich the framework.
Keywords: coordination; information; system;: process; inter-organizational relations.

Revised version July, 5 2011

1. Introduction Inter-organizational relations have become a widespread and problematic phenomenon which, from the management control perspective, has required the design and implementation of control systems at a distance (Mouritsen et al, 2001). Coordination is one of the main problems to be dealt with by means of an inter-organizational control system (Dekker, 2004; Caglio and Ditillo, 2008). Particularly,...

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