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Business Systems and Organizational CapabilitiesThe Institutional Structuring of Competitive Competences$
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Richard Whitley

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199205172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199205172.001.0001

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Project‐Based Firms: New Organizational Form or Variations on a Theme?

Project‐Based Firms: New Organizational Form or Variations on a Theme?

(p.228) 9 Project‐Based Firms: New Organizational Form or Variations on a Theme?
Business Systems and Organizational Capabilities

Richard Whitley (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the growing significance of inter-firm networks and project-based firms in many industries, which some claim heralds major changes in dominant economic forms. Rather than assuming that all such enterprises are basically the same, the chapter distinguishes between four ideal types of project-based firms in terms of the singularity of their goals, on the one hand, and the separation and stability of the division of labour, on the other hand. These ideal types vary in their importance across subsectors with different output characteristics, such as appropriability, modularity, and technological cumulativeness, and processes, such as client involvement. They also are more or less likely to become prevalent in contrasting institutional environments, which means that the establishment of the Silicon Valley type of economic organization as the dominant form is improbable in many societies.

Keywords:   inter-firm networks, project-based firms, institutional frameworks, Silicon Valley

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