Working Papers

Dyad and Network

Models of Manufacturer-Supplier Collaboration in the Japanese TV Manufacturing Industry


The analysis of manufacturer-supplier relationships in Japan has contributed significantly to the advancement of interorganizational theory. It has yielded broad evidence that long-term collaborative partnerships enable firms to exploit the incentive benefits of market-based exchange while reaping the learning and coordination benefits of internalization within a corporate hierarchy. In this paper, we go beyond the issues of trust and cooperation that have occupied much prior theory and research on supplier relations in considering another dimension along which collaborative agreements may be arrayed. We build on transaction and network theories respectively to propose two types of long-term collaborative ties: dyadic or bilateral governance and network embeddedness. A comparative analysis of collaborative relationships in product and process development between two Japanese TV manufacturing companies and their suppliers provides empirical evidence for the distinctive effect of network ties over dyadic relationships for collaborative knowledge-sharing.