1. Finding our way in the jungle: insights from organization theory

In: It's a jungle out there - the strange animals of economic organization in agri-food value chains
C. Ménard Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne, Université de Paris, Panthéon-Sorbonne, 75005 Paris, France.

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This contribution is about the variety of modalities of coordination of economic activities, with application to the agri-food sector. Building on recent developments in organization theory and institutional analysis, it explores two dimensions along which coordination operates: it proposes an extended transactional model to explain the variety of coordination devices, with a special emphasis on contracts and their role in hybrid arrangements; and it characterizes the different layers composing the institutional setting in which these arrangements are embedded, with an emphasis on the long ignored or neglected role of the intermediate, ‘meso-institutional’ layer. Insights are also provided on the technological background to coordination and on some policy issues.

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