Uncertainty, opportunism, and governance: The effects of volatility and ambiguity on formal and relational contracting
Academy of Management Journal
Comparing the effectiveness of contractual and relational governance in constraining opportunism under conditions of volatility and ambiguity, we hypothesize that relational contracts will be robust to volatility but not to ambiguity, whereas formal contracts will be robust to ambiguity but not to volatility. Data from 125 interorganizational relationships involving R&D for new-product development support these hypotheses. Our findings suggest that formal and relational contracts each have advantages and disadvantages in specific situations and are not simply substitutes. Our results challenge the view that relational contracts are resistant to opportunism. A revised comparative governance schema is theorized for future research. © Academy of Management Journal.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Carson, Stephen J.; Madhok, Anoop; and Tao, Wu, "Uncertainty, opportunism, and governance: The effects of volatility and ambiguity on formal and relational contracting" (2006). Faculty Publications. 2851.