can be examined as one way of exploring the hypothesis that joint ventures are undertaken to overcome resource limitations. Measures of the proportion of scientific or technical personnel, or the amount of research activity undertaken may be relevant for exploring the hypothesis that nonprofit organizations undertake joint ventures for sharing technology or reducing technological risk. There are clear analogues to the concepts of purchase and sales interdependence in nonprofit organizations; since these organizations are frequently publicly funded, tracing transactions flows and resource exchanges should be substantially easier on a disaggregated basis. The structure of competition among organizations may be assessed by noting the dependence on common resources, markets, or sources of input ( Elesh, 1973). Nonprofit organizations, too, have varying degrees of fixed and variable costs, which should make interdependence management more or less problematic.
The concepts of resource interdependence, relative power resulting from various sources of interdependence, and strategic actions taken to manage interdependence are all also found in Benson ( 1974) political economy analysis of interorganizational behavior. The emphases on power, strategic actions, and a contest for resources and resource control add a dimension to the perspectives on interorganizational activity that have stressed cooperation and planning. The testing of propositions from this framework in a variety of contexts is required, however, before it will be possible to determine how useful these ideas are for understanding interorganizational behavior.
Aiken Michael, and Jerald Hage ( 1968), "'Organizational interdependence and intraorganizational structure'", American Sociological Review, 33: 912-30.
Allen Michael Patrick ( 1974), "The structure of interorganization elite cooptation: interlocking corporate directorates'", American Sociological Review, 39: 393-406.
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Publication information: Book title: Firms, Organizations and Contracts:A Reader in Industrial Organization. Contributors: Peter J. Buckley - Editor, Jonathan Michie - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 407.
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