Title: Electronic commerce and governance forms: a transaction cost approach

Authors: Goril Hannas, Otto Andersen, Arnt Buvik

Addresses: Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Agder, P.O. Box 422, Kristiansand, 4604, Norway. ' Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Agder, P.O. Box 422, Kristiansand, 4604, Norway. ' Department of Economics, Molde University College, P.O. Box 2110, Molde, 6402, Norway

Abstract: A large amount of the electronic commerce (EC) literature is focused on the benefits of digitalising transactions, as well as technological and organisational issues related to implementing inter-firm information systems. Even though firms choose different electronic solutions for different purposes, there are still modest research contributions focusing on what kind of governance structures that emerge from business to business (B2B) electronic commerce and why these different governance forms emerge. This paper develops a framework for analysing how certain transaction characteristics such as order frequency, relation specific assets and uncertainty affect the alignment of electronic governance form (EGF). The authors discuss the concept of EGF and categorise electronic governance structures into four different types. The basis for the discussion is transactions cost economics (TCE) combined with theoretical contributions from electronic commerce.

Keywords: business-to-business; electronic commerce; B2B e-commerce; electronic governance; transaction characteristics; transactions costs; electronic coordination activities; order frequency; relation specific assets; uncertainty.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPM.2010.035470

International Journal of Procurement Management, 2010 Vol.3 No.4, pp.409 - 427

Available online: 30 Sep 2010 *

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