Buyer Supplier Relationships gets Nobel Prize in Oliver Williamson

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} catch(err) {}With 11 out of 13 Nobel Prizes coming to the US the Economics winners  Elinor Ostrom  and Oliver Williamson got sparse press. This despite Elinor Ostrom being the first woman Economist to get the prize.  The name OE Williamson seemed familiar and then it struck me ! This was the legendary Williamson (1975) and (1985) who with his PhD adviser Ronald Coase (1937) practically invented  large parts of the underlying theory of "buyer seller relationships" the central theme of this blog, called transaction cost economics within institutional economics.

In fact, it was during my PhD studies that I came upon the work of Williamson and refer to it frequently in several papers etc.. Essentially the transaction cost economics approach suggests that you stay with the same supplier, to reduce the costs of finding new suppliers and improve the supply chain performance. The subsequent theory development by a variety of scholars in marketing,supply chain,law, organization, strategy and off course economics continue to look at different questions at the "boundary of the firm" aka B2B and Supply Chain.

Here is a rather long press conference video from UC Berkley with Professor Williamson. About halfway down the video (20 minutes) a reporter asks whether the Nobel committee finally recognized him after the global financial crisis where buyer seller relationships had become too cosy and the mortgage mess escalated. This blog has been discussing these inter-organizational issues for the past year and celebrates the timely award to Professor Williamson.

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