Abstract and Keywords
Business groups and interfirm networks, the subjects of this article, along with cartels, consortia, industrial districts, innovation clusters, joint ventures, strategic alliances, unions, industry, and professional associations, are significant examples of organized cooperation in business. Cooperation has been, and continues to be, a primary force for change in business and in nature. What distinguishes business groups and interfirm networks from other examples of organized cooperation are, first, that they are composed of legally distinct firms and, second, that they persist for long periods of time. Thus, unions and professional associations differ on the first dimension, strategic alliances and joint ventures on the second. Business groups and interfirm networks are long-lasting federations of firms. They have been relatively unsung until lately. Interest has grown of late because business groups are identified as playing crucial roles in economic development, and interfirm networks in innovation, especially when complex coordination problems overwhelm firms.
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