In a multi-case study of R&D offshoring relationships in large manufacturing firms, this study develops an alternative view to that of transaction-cost theory, which argues that safeguard investments during the transition lead to higher transaction costs. This study outlines how fear of opportunism and the potential to violate agreements drive the need for complex safeguard devices. Results show that the sample firms benefit from high initial coordinated safeguard investments, because those investments reduce transactional costs overtime. More specifically, the study lists critical activities of such coordinated self-enforcing safeguard investments and calls for future attention to how firms manage transaction costs in R&D offshoring to secure long-term value.
- 512 Business and Management