Economics of Strategy The Economics of Vertical Integration - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  1. Economics of StrategyThe Economics of Vertical Integration

  2. Technical Vs Agency Efficiency • There are two major efficiency concerns in any “make-or-buy” decision • Technical Efficiency • Agency Efficiency • Tradeoffs exist between technical (production) efficiency and agency (exchange) efficiency as we move from buy to make or vice versa

  3. Technical Efficiency • Cost efficiency in the physical production of the good or service • dominated by economies of scale and scope • the firm is minimizing the costs of attaining the input • i.e., it is adopting the least-cost method of production, be it internal (make) or external (buy)

  4. Agency Efficiency • Striving for efficiency or least cost in the market transactions required to obtain the input • Transactions Costs • Influence Costs • Agency Costs

  5. The Tradeoff Technical Efficiency Agency Efficiency

  6. The Make-or-Buy Decision • Do we “make” or “produce in-house” or “vertically integrate”? • Do we “buy” or “obtain from the market” or “outsource” ?

  7. The Asset Specificity Model • the choice to vertically integrate or to outsource depends upon • Technical Efficiency • Agency Efficiency • Asset Specificity

  8. Figure 4.1 Vertical Axis: Costs of Vertical Integration - Costs of Outsourcing Costs of vertical integration > Costs of outsourcing Costs to “make” exceed the costs to “buy” IT IS MORE COST EFFFECTIVE TO BUY Low asset specificity High asset specificity IT IS MORE COST EFFFECTIVE TO MAKE Costs of vertical integration < Costs of outsourcing Cost to “buy” exceed the costs to “make”

  9. Costs of vertical integration - Costs of outsourcing Figure 4.1 DT Asset Specificity DT - differences in technical efficiency costs when producing the input in-house minus the technical efficiency costs when acquiring the product from a market specialist

  10. DT • This difference is always in the buy region • market providers are able to achieve more economies of scale and scope by virtue of the fact that they can aggregate demand from numerous sources • This difference is declining because as asset specificity increases it “narrows the market” thereby reducing the available economies of scale and scope

  11. Costs of vertical integration - Costs of outsourcing Figure 4.1 • DA -agency costs when producing the input in-house minus the agency costs when acquiring the product from a market specialist Asset Specificity DA

  12. Agency Costs with In-house Production • lost efficiency due to agency costs • the costs associated with slack effort by employees and the costs of the administrative controls put in place to thwart this. • lost efficiency due to internal influence costs • Uses time, resources, and energy • time spent politicking is time not spent on task • can lead to destructive internal competition • Politics can affect decision-making criteria • Transfer prices may be politically determined

  13. Agency Costs with Market Supplier • direct costs of contracting • costs of safeguarding against hold-up • inefficiencies due to underinvestments in relationship specific assets • lost opportunities due to mistrust, inability to share sensitive data • costs associated with breakdowns in coordination and synchronization

  14. DA • This difference is positive at low levels of asset specificity • hold-up is not a significant problem • the market for the product is likely to be competitive because the input is “homogeneous” with numerous sellers and buyers • Therefore... • Competitive pressure force production costs down • Competitive pressures to innovate

  15. DA • This difference is negative at high levels of asset specificity • requires more detailed contracts (i.e., higher transactions costs) • increases the likelihood of hold-up problems • “narrows the market” thereby reducing competitive pressures

  16. Figure 4.1 Costs of vertical integration - Costs of outsourcing DT K** Asset Specificity • DC = DT + DA • the vertical summation of the cost differences between vertical integration and reliance upon market specialists DC DA

  17. DC • the vertical summation of DT and DA • or production and exchange costs under vertical integration minus production and exchange costs under outsourcing • Used to decide whether to “make” or “buy”

  18. Make or Buy? • If DC is positive - Buy • Costs of vertical integration > Costs of outsourcing • the firm should outsource the product • If DC is negative - Make • Costs of vertical integration < Costs of outsourcing • the firm should make vertically integrate the product bringing the production in-house

  19. Primary Implication - Asset Specificity Model • as asset specificity increases firms are more likely to bring the production in-house • What are other managerial implications of this model?

  20. Managerial Implication #1 • Pay attention to asset specificity • Rely on markets to produce routine, standardized or homogeneous items (market provision is best when asset specificity is low) • Produce in-house when design, engineering, production expertise, and specific investments are required (vertical integration is best when asset specificity is high)

  21. Managerial Implication #2 • Pay attention to economies of scale • Rely on markets for items that require high upfront investments in physical capital or organizational capabilities that outside firms have already developed • Rely on market provision when outside specialists can capture substantial economies of scale in production that you cannot • they have the advantage of aggregating demand from a number of firms/industries

  22. Managerial Implication #3 • Vertical Integration tends to be more efficient for large firms than for small firms • Vertical Integration is best when large scale in-house production is taking place • Market provision is best when in-house production is on a small scale

  23. Managerial Implication #4 • Vertical Integration is best when high coordination costs exist and Market provision is best when low coordination costs exist • Technology can change coordination costs! • Technological advances have tended to lower coordination costs thereby making reliance on market production more attractive • telecommunications, data processing, CAD Design, and computer-controlled machinery's

  24. Grossman and Hart • Asset Ownership and Asset Control • Is the decision as to who owns the asset noncontractible or contractible? • Noncontractible decisions are RSIs which are made ex ante • Contractible decisions are operating decisions which revert to the party holding residual rights of control

  25. Grossman and Hart • Asset Ownership • affects bargaining power over operating decisions • which affects the distribution of profits or quasi-rents • which affects investment decisions • which affects the size of the total pool of profits

  26. Grossman and Hart • The form of integration between the firms affects this chain

  27. Forms of Integration • Nonintegration • firms remain independent • Forward Integration - owning “upstream” • Unit 1 owns the assets of Unit 2 thus Unit 1 has control over the operating decisions of Unit 2 • Backward Integration - owning “downstream” • Unit 2 owns the assets of Unit 1 thus Unit 2 has control over the operating decisions of Unit 1

  28. Grossman and Hart • Ownership of the asset or residual rights should lie with the party that has most influence on the total pool of profits.

  29. Additional Motives for Vertical Integration • To undo the effects of Imperfect Competition

  30. Additional Motives for Vertical Integration • Price Discrimination

  31. Additional Motives for Vertical Integration • To forecloseon potential competitors/entrants • To avoid foreclosure by potential competitors/entrants

  32. Additional Motives for Vertical Integration • To Acquire Information

  33. Alternative Modes of Integration • Tapered Integration - “make some, buy some”

  34. Tapered IntegrationPotential Benefits • Expands input and/or output channels • Provides a comprehensive set of cost, production, market information • Can help to prevent holdup

  35. Tapered IntegrationPotential Costs • No one achieves full scale economies • Coordination problems • Monitoring and Compliance information problems • A less efficient internal production unit may be used as a benchmark for external providers • Reintroduction of agency costs associated with vertical integration - influence costs, principle agent problems

  36. Alternative Modes of Integration • Strategic Alliances • Mutual collaboration on a project • Joint Ventures • Mutual collaboration on a business enterprise

  37. Alternative Modes of Integration • Collaborative Integration • Subcontracting Relationships • Keiretsu

  38. Alternative Modes of Integration • Implicit Contracts • informal, non-legalistic understandings between parties with implicit recognition of the consequences of violation on the part of each party